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Breathing New Life Into Pulmonology

Executive Summary

The development of medical devices and techniques that enable physicians to perform procedures less invasively has transformed the way medicine is practiced in many fields, including cardiology, radiology, neurology and orthopedics, and giving rise to thriving sub-specialties such as interventional cardiology. Pulmonx, a start-up launched by veteran physician/entrepreneur Rodney Perkins, MD, is looking to repeat that pattern through devices designed to spur the development of a new specialty, interventional pulmonology, while also improving the tools used in anesthesiology, internal and emergency medicine. While the company appears thus far to have the field to itself, Pulmonx faces major challenges in terms of the financing hurdles that come with a start-up's efforts to break new ground, as well as reimbursement issues in one of its primary product areas. Along with those challenges come major opportunities to capitalize on the advantages to patients, providers and payers that interventional procedures have brought to other clinical fields; and to become a market-maker in a new physician specialty.

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