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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

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

Health Industry Hub | March 1, 2023 |

MedTech News: Obesity has become a major concern in our society, especially because it is a significant risk factor for many chronic conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and musculoskeletal disorders. Additionally, the economic impact of obesity is 3.1% of GDP in Australia vs 2% of GDP in the United States.

Ahead of World Obesity Day on 4 March 2023, Dr Betsy Dovec, Bariatric Surgeon from Orlando, Central Florida, US and Dr Calista Spiro, Bariatric Surgeon from Canberra joined Health Industry Hub to reflect on this year’s theme of Changing Perspectives: Let’s Talk About Obesity and their views on the need to correct obesity misconceptions, acknowledge the complexities, and inspire the need to take collective action.

Therapies for obesity management are constantly evolving. Dr Dovec and Dr Spiro discussed the emergence of effective pharmacotherapies providing greater options for treatment and how these medicines align with surgical intervention in obesity management.

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. Dr Spiro 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.

In light of significant advances in bariatric surgery, new guidelines have been launched after 30 years. Dr Dovec and Dr Spiro shared their perspectives on how these guidelines aim to transform the management of patients with obesity.

While the demand on hospital capacity has increased significantly due to the pandemic and workforce shortages, Dr Dovec’s research on a novel care pathway provides a safe and effective solution to this issue and is supporting her in the development of a first-of-its-kind ‘bariatric only’ ambulatory surgery centre.

In strengthening the voice of women in surgery, J&J MedTech has initiated the Ethicon Women in Bariatrics network. Dr Spiro and Dr Dovec were energised by this initiative and felt encouraged by its positive impact not only on female surgeons but the overall healthcare delivery in bariatric surgery.

In reimagining healthcare across the entire patient journey, Health Industry HubTM is the only one-stop-hub bringing the diversity of Pharma, MedTech, Diagnostics & Biotech sectors together to inspire meaningful change.

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