This marks the first NHS trust in the UK and the first non-private sector organization in the world to introduce the balloon.
Natick Massachusetts-based Allurion designed the swallowable balloon to require no surgery, endoscopy or anaesthesia. Once swallowed, the balloon fills and remains in the stomach for approximately four months before self-emptying and passing out naturally.
According to a news release, the balloon demonstrated an average of 10%-15% body weight loss after approximately four months. Studies show that, on average, patients can sustain 96% of their weight loss one year after the balloon passes.
Allurion offers a program that combines its balloon with the Allurion Virtual Care Suite. The company said its balloon is the world’s first and only swallowable, procedure-less gastric balloon for weight loss. Its Iris platform powers the Virtual Care Suite, a remote patient monitoring solution. The company also offers the Virtual Care Suite as a standalone product. It partnered with Medtronic on the AI-powered platform midway through last year.
Somerset NHS Foundation Trust’s Musgrove Park Hospital provided treatments to the first two patients in November. Allurion noted a further three placements slated for early February, plus up to a dozen more sometime after.
“Leveraging the Allurion Balloon—which can be swallowed in a simple outpatient visit and typically does not require any procedures for removal—the NHS now has a weight loss solution that does not tap into surgical or endoscopic resources that are already overbooked and constrained,” said Dr. Shantanu Gaur, founder and CEO of Allurion. “We are looking forward to expanding this partnership and benefiting many more NHS patients in the months and years to come.”