Aspire Bariatrics, a medical device company based in King of Prussia, PA, recently raised more than $16 million in private equity to further develop it's "BariAssist" system which is, essentially, a drain line installed into a patient's stomach. The installation procedure takes 10 minutes and can be done in outpatient settings.
Patients are taught to couple a drain line to the outflow "port" in their bellies, and to empty stomach contents into the toilet roughly 20 minutes after each meal, a process that takes about 5 minutes and removes 40-60% of consumed calories.
The BariAssist concept was developed by Dr. Samuel Klein, a gastroenterologist at Washington University, St. Louis. Heading up Aspire's team is Katherine Crothall, a healthcare executive who previously scored big with an insulin pump company she developed and sold to Johnson & Johnson.
In an interview with Philadelphia Business Journal, Ms. Crothall admitted that the BariAssist approach does have a certain "yuck factor," but she said it does give morbidly obese people an option beside Bariatric surgery and the strict dietary limitations that it entails. Besides, it beats vomiting, right?
UPShots wonders how long investors will continue to bet their money on tech-fixes that really do nothing to address the real causes of chronic conditions like obesity?