A company called Allurion has launched the world’s first swallowable weight loss balloon in India, which can help a user lose around 14 kg within 16 weeks with complete approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization.
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The swallowable gastric balloon capsule for weight loss was introduced by Allurion on Tuesday in India. The company stated during the press conference that it is the first medical weight-loss device that has received complete approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO). The company claims that its medical device is the first and only swallowable gastric balloon for weight loss in the world and has now been introduced in over 55 countries. Allurion, a 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, and the Allurion Mobile App, Connected Scale, and Health Tracker, was recently introduced. Allurion was founded in 2009.
According to the most recent National Family Health Survey (2019–21), between 2016 and 2021, the rate of obesity in India grew from 21% to 24% among women and from 19% to 23% among males. The rise in obesity, which can have major implications including diabetes and heart disease, is a result of unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyles, and a lack of safe and efficient therapies.
“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.
The Allurion Program requires patients to have a BMI (body mass index) of at least 27, and the placement entails a 15-minute outpatient appointment that may be completed in complete privacy during a lunch break, according to the program’s creators.
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The programme can help patients with weight loss, weight maintenance, and type 2 diabetes remission, according to the business, which claims that over 100,000 patients have been treated with the Allurion Swallowable Capsule in more than 50 countries.
The Allurion Program is appropriate for those who cannot lose weight through diet alone or who cannot or do not want to undergo invasive surgery or endoscopy. The balloon may, however, occasionally need to be removed through surgery or endoscopy. According to its creators, it may also be effective as a treatment for co-morbidities associated with excess weight such as diabetes, infertility, or cardiovascular disease.
“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.
Dr. Shantanu Gaur, the founder and CEO of Allurion, revealed during the press conference that the Allurion Program has helped more than 100,000 patients globally and 600 clinics lose a combined total of more than one million kg.
“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.
For remote patient monitoring, telemedicine, and secure messaging with the care team, Allurion’s Virtual Care Suite combines the Allurion Mobile App, Connected Scale, and Health Tracker into a single “digital umbrella.” Additionally, the software platform uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to enable care providers to communicate with patients and their data.
Dr. Gaur said regarding price and availability to all socioeconomic groups: “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.”
Dr. Bhandari remarked that the programme will cost Rs. 3 Lakhs when asked about its price in India.
“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.”
The creators said that they will formally launch in five Indian cities on Tuesday at a press conference in New Delhi, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Chennai.