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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Non-surgical weight loss device heads for expansion with former Medtronic CEO

Health Industry Hub | March 17, 2023 |

MedTech News: Obesity is reaching pandemic proportions globally, with overweight or obesity affecting at least two-thirds of Australian adults. Bariatric surgery is an effective weight loss strategy but is constrained by its use mainly in the private healthcare setting.

In fact in Australia, over 90% of all bariatric surgeries are performed in the private sector, highlighting the disparity in funding and capacity for bariatric surgery between the private and public hospital sectors. In a recent interview, Dr Calista Spiro, Bariatric Surgeon from Canberra commented on the key barriers and why it is critical to improve equity of access to care, especially that obesity is of greatest frequency and severity in lower socio‐economic populations where patients often wholly dependent on public healthcare.

Allurion has created the world’s first full stack weight-loss platform featuring its gastric balloon, the only swallowable, procedure-less gastric balloon for weight loss with an average result of 10 – 15% loss in total body weight. Its technology platform includes the Allurion Virtual Care Suite, a digital therapeutic that combines AI-powered remote patient monitoring with a behaviour change program.

Last month, the company announced its merger with Compute Health Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company whose leadership includes former Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak. The deal values the combined entity at about $500 million. 

Surgeons spotlight latest innovations transforming obesity care: One of the most critical yet stigmatised diseases in our society

More than 100,000 patients have been treated by its technology in Australia, Canada, Mexico, India and Brazil. 

Dr Viraj Kariyawasam, a consultant gastroenterologist and hepatologist at Blacktown hospital with private rooms in Bella Vista and Rouse Hill in Sydney, has shared patient success stories with the media recently.

He said “It’s always great to see and hear from patients who achieve their goals.”

The gastric balloon is in the form of a capsule. Unlike traditional gastric balloons that are surgically implanted, this device is swallowed by the patient under the guidance of a clinician. The balloon inflates in the stomach and is checked by X-ray to verify its placement. The outpatient procedure takes about 15 minutes.

“With our deep experience at the intersection of healthcare, technology, and data, we see Allurion as a breakthrough platform addressing and solving one of the largest unmet medical needs in the world,” said Omar Ishrak, Compute Health Chairman.

“Allurion’s unique technologies together with its track record of consistent and exceptional growth truly differentiate it from other competitive attempts at weight loss. The company is uniquely positioned for long-term success in a massive addressable market.”

Allurion was co-founded founded in 2009 by Shantanu Gaur and Samuel Levy while they were studying at Harvard Medical School. Gaur is the company’s CEO and he will continue in that role following the merger. The companies expect to complete the transaction in the first half of this year.

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