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Obesity: Super-Sized Medical Device Market

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Obesity is a multi-hundred billion dollar market ready and waiting for device developers to catch up to fill an enormous unmet need. Between the low risk, low benefit drug options for overweight patients, and the high risk, high benefit surgeries for the morbidly obese, there's a huge gap in terms of therapies. This sweet spot covers a segement of over 50 million obese patients without weight loss options. Companies with new devices for obesity hope to serve that population; the market is existing and underserved, reimbursement risk is eliminated--since many patients will pay out of pocket to have weight loss procedures--so the remaining risk revolves around technology. However, technology risk in a multi-factorial disease whose mechanisms are poorly understood is significant.

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