Allurion on Tuesday launched its swallowable gastric balloon capsule for weight loss in India. During the press conference, the company informed that it is the only medical weight-loss device fully approved by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO). Launched in over 55 countries now, the company claims that its medical device is the world’s first and only swallowable gastric balloon for weight loss. Founded in 2009, Allurion has now launched a complete weight loss programme that includes: the Allurion Swallowable Capsule, the Allurion Virtual Care Suite, a remote patient monitoring solution powered by the Allurion Iris AI platform that includes the Allurion Mobile App, Connected Scale and Health Tracker.
According to the recent National Family Health Survey (2019-21), obesity in India has increased from 21 percent to 24 percent among women and 19 percent to 23 percent among men between 2016 and 2021. Unhealthy food habits, increasingly sedentary lifestyles, and a lack of safe and effective treatments all have contributed to an increase in obesity, which can lead to serious consequences such as diabetes and heart disease.
“In approximately 16 weeks, people on the Allurion Programme lose an average of 10-15 percent total body weight. Also, 95 percent of the weight loss is maintained at the first year,” Dr. Mohit Bhandari of Mohak Bariatrics, and a pioneer in offering the Allurion Program in India said during the press conference on Tuesday.
According to the makers, the placement involves a 15-minute outpatient visit that can be done in complete privacy during a lunch break, and to be eligible for the Allurion Program, patients must have a BMI (body mass index) of at least 27.
The company claims that over 100,000 patients in more than 50 countries have been treated with the Allurion Swallowable Capsule and the programme can benefit patients in weight loss, weight maintenance, and type 2 diabetes remission.
The Allurion Program is suited for people who are unable to achieve their weight-loss goals by dieting alone or for those who do not want to or cannot, undergo invasive surgery or endoscopy. However, in rare cases, the balloon may have to be removed through endoscopy or surgery. It may also be suitable as a treatment for weight-related co-morbidities including diabetes, infertility, or cardiovascular disease, the makers claim.
“In just a 15-minute clinic visit, the patient swallows the Allurion Swallowable Capsule – a safe and temporary vegan capsule that contains a deflated gastric balloon. Once in the stomach, a healthcare professional uses a catheter to inflate the balloon with 550ml of liquid – no surgery, endoscopy or anaesthesia is required. A simple X-ray is used to ensure the balloon is in the right position. After placement, the balloon – roughly the size of a grapefruit – takes up space in the patient’s stomach, creating a feeling of fullness and reducing food intake. The balloon reduces feelings of hunger, and in approximately 16 weeks, it automatically deflates and passes out of the body naturally,” Dr. Bhandari said.
During the press conference, Dr Shantanu Gaur, Founder, and CEO of Allurion said during the press conference said that the Allurion Program has treated more than 100,000 patients and in partnership with 600 clinics worldwide and the patients have collectively shed more than one million kilos.
“As someone of Indian origin, India is a special market for Allurion. It is part of my personal mission to bring our revolutionary technology to India to help end obesity and diabetes. Whether it is because they have a wedding coming up, have steadily put on weight due to a busy or stressful lifestyle, recently had a health scare, need to improve their fertility, or need to lose weight before an operation, the Allurion Program can be the answer for millions of patients throughout India,” Dr. Gaur said.
Meanwhile, Allurion’s Virtual Care Suite, integrates the Allurion Mobile App, Connected Scale, and Health Tracker into a single “digital umbrella” to provide remote patient monitoring, telehealth and secure messaging with the care team. Moreover, the software platform is powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning to allow care teams to interact with their patients – and their data.
On cost and accessibility to all economic groups, Dr. Gaur told Financial Express.com: “India is a diverse country and we want to make our product accessible to all sections of the population. The Allurion Program is partially reimbursed by health insurance in India, making it an accessible solution.”
On its price in India, Dr. Bhandari added that the programme will cost Rs. 3 Lakhs.
“The complete programme which includes the devices, the scale, watch and the digital app will cost Rs. 3 Lakhs. This is still affordable the reduces follow-up costs that are prevalent in bariatric surgeries.”
During the press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday, the makers announced that they are officially launching in five cities in India which include: New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Chennai.
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