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Tactile Medical targets another specialty market for growth

Tactile Medical targets another specialty market for growth

Eric PaulsMINNEAPOLIS – Tactile Medical’s acquisition of AffloVest positions the company in another underpenetrated market that treats patients with chronic diseases in their homes, says Eric Pauls, senior vice president of sales. 

Tactile Medical says, of the more than 16 million people living with COPD in the United States, more than 4 million may be affected by bronchiectasis, a respiratory disease that can be treated with AffloVest, a wearable, battery powered high frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO) device. The company says, currently, 500,000 adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the disease, with growth in the high single-digits annually. 

“There’s such an underserved need and lack of awareness of how many patients with COPD likely suffer from bronchiectasis,” Pauls said. “That’s one of the commonalities between our two markets. The lymphedema market is very similar, in terms of total addressable market and underserved need.” 

Tactile Medical, which offers Flexitouch for the lymphedema and chronic venous insufficiency market, believes the HFCWO market represents a $5 billion annual total addressable market opportunity in the U.S. 

While AffloVest comes to Tactile Medical with a network of 4,000 DME provider customers – a business model that differentiates it from its competitors – Pauls says a significant goal out of the gate is further increasing access to the device among that group. 

“It’s a relatively small category in the scheme of things but one that can really help a segment of patients that the DME providers already serve,” he said. “The strong network of DME providers with their established relationships with pulmonary offices, physicians, and discharge planners will help more patients get the therapy they need.” 

Other areas of focus for Tactile Medical post-acquisition are increasing the clinical evidence for AffloVest and Flexitouch and increasing their digital capabilities, Pauls says. 

“They’re both wearable therapies, but other things on the roadmap are exploring digital connectivity and building a digital platform that will help with engagement and even help with adherence to make a more patient friendly design,” he said. 


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