Science and Tech


Doctors Optimistic About Medical Breakthroughs For 2023

The medical community is expecting advancements this year with the potential to change everything from shots to surgery.
Posted at 3:21 PM, Jan 10, 2023

Sure, biotechnology might make some think "science nerds," but when learning about 2023’s remote surgeries, geeking out is welcome. 

"We can treat them from here while they're there," said Dr. Donald Frei, a neurointerventional surgeon at the Swedish Neuro Network.

Dr. Frei showed Scripps News the tech behind new remote surgery clinical trials. 

Robotic surgery is not as intense on patients and they can get home quickly. 

Now surgeons are testing adding technology similar to a zoom call to that procedure. It could allow specialized surgeons to cut into patients hundreds of miles away. 

"In the future we could potentially see me or one of my partners doing a stroke thrombectomy remotely in a patient somewhere in Wyoming, Montana, Western Kansas, Western Nebraska," said Frei. 

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Meanwhile, after a brutal start to 2022’s RSV season, experts believe we’ll see treatments and vaccines greenlit before 2023’s season. At least six drug companies are working on monoclonal antibodies or vaccines for the illness. That includes a first — an antibody medicine for all infants. Sanofi says the FDA just accepted their application to license a treatment for children up to 24 months.  

Dr. William Muller is a researcher for the trial.  

"This would have a big impact on pediatric care if it if it works as well as it did in the studies, which is preventing hospitalization by as much as two thirds to three quarters," said Muller.

We can also expect results from Moderna and Pfizer on combination flu and COVID shots. Trials are underway for MRNA vaccines to treat beyond the triple-demic viruses we’ve seen this winter. 

"That might include viruses such as herpes virus that causes cold sores but can cause severe illness in newborns and immunocompromised patients. People have been working on vaccines for Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis," Muller said. 

Lastly look for more landmark medicines, plus a shift in how doctors look at and treat two chronic illnesses: obesity and Alzhiemers.  

That makes 72-year-old Connie Lesko optimistic. She lost both parents to Alzhiemers. 

"There are a lot of families that have this struggle. And it's not just the patient. In fact, the patient feels it probably less than anyone," Lesko said.