Northwell Health’s research arm took another step forward in possibly revolutionizing care for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.

Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research announced that new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America had demonstrated that stimulating a major nerve in the body with electronic impulses from an implantable device improved RA disease, a method that H&HN featured in June 2015. “I think it is likely that in our lifetime — not in some distant future tense — many drugs used today will be either supplemented or replaced by bioelectronic devices,” Kevin Tracey, M.D., president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and the scientist who made the discovery, said at that time. Tracey also is a co-founder of  a company seeking to commercialize the device.

This was the first sign that the approach works with humans and not just test animals. “I believe this study will change the way we see modern medicine, helping us understand that our nerves can, with a little help, make the drugs that we need to help our body heal itself,” Tracey said in a Northwell news release.

Watch the Feinstein Institute’s Christopher Czura describe further how it works in a video.

In other Medical Marvels:

Detecting CRE

The FDA approved a new, faster test for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. The test relies on a rectal swab, according to the Food and Drug Administration. "By using a specimen taken directly from a patient to test for the presence of genetic markers, hospitals can more quickly identify these dangerous bacteria resistant to certain antibiotics," said Alberto Gutierrez, M.D., director of the FDA's Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health within the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in a news release.

Don't drop that contact

The FDA also approved an implantable corneal device similar to a contact, but the size of the eye of a needle, to correct near vision of patients.

Not a party school

Finally, Texas A&M University is planning to create an innovative engineering medical school at Houston Methodist Hospital to educate a new kind of doctor, pending appropriate approvals, who will invent transformational technology for health care, according to a press release posted on KBTX News.