Business Analysts Seeing Opportunity in Obesity

Business analysts once again see opportunity in obesity for innovation that will bring financial rewards. Some are cheering because innovation is sorely lacking in our efforts to address obesity. Others fear crass exploitation of vulnerable people affected by obesity.

Medical Device and Diagnostics Industry, a trade publication, reports that the market for weight management and obesity treatment will expand from $102 billion in 2012 to $140 billion in 2017. They report that the recognition by AMA of obesity as a disease worth treating will prove to be a tipping point for medical device companies. The president of one medical device company, Patrick Pickerell of Peridot, commented:

My company is a supplier of precision metal and plastic components to the minimally invasive device companies. As such we have at least half a dozen clients in the stomach reduction space that have placed their bets on just such a ruling. Insurance reimbursement codes mean the difference between a viable exit/sale of these startups so from a business standpoint (somewhat selfishly I admit) I am glad for the ruling.

From an economic point of view it seems better to treat obesity now than pay for the long term effects of diabetes and heart disease.

EnteroMedics, a company that has had its share of ups and downs, recently announced their filing for approval with FDA for their innovative VBLOC obesity treatment. Analysts have described this venture as a cat with nine lives. Their persistence is a good sign.

You can expect some steady progress with new treatments, though it may be obscured by the ups and downs of excessive hype at times.

Click here to read more in Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry, click here to read more in Seeking Alpha, and click here to read more about the ups and downs of the VBLOC technology.

Targets of Opportunity, photograph © Randy Robertson / flickr

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