Endosound included in Becker’s “5 GI device companies to watch in 2023”!

From Beckers GI & Endoscopy

As the gastroenterology device market continues to grow, here are five companies poised to take over the market in 2023.

EndoSound, Iterative Health, Medtronic, FujiFilm, and Motus GI

At the beginning of 2023, EndoSound, a newer player in the GI space, received an investment from the American Gastroenterological Association to improve its endoscopic ultrasound technology. In July 2021, EndoSound earned FDA breakthrough device designation for the device.

See Linked In post here.

EndoSound® Receives Investment From AGA’s GI Opportunity Fund

Portland, OR – EndoSound®, Inc., an Oregon-based medical device innovator developing technologies that enhance access, reduce cost, and increase the safety of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) procedures, announced that the company received an investment from the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), AGA’s new venture capital fund, GI Opportunity Fund 1.

“AGA’s commitment to driving innovation expanded through our venture fund and we’re proud to support emerging companies, like EndoSound, that are transforming care for patients with digestive disease. Technology that can increase patient access to care and procedure safety while also lowering health care costs is truly exceptional,” said Lawrence Kosinski, MD, AGAF, AGA Governing Board Councilor for Development and Growth.


EndoSound was granted Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Breakthrough Device designation in July 2021. The EndoSound Vision System® (EVS®) is a disruptive EUS platform whose attachable transducer and supportive components transforms a conventional upper endoscope into a fully functional endoscopic ultrasound device.

EUS is an imaging technology like CT, MRI and point of care ultrasound. It is critical to the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of benign and malignant diseases particularly those of the liver, gallbladder, and the pancreas. The cost of existing systems has limited the availability of this crucial modality in the United States and around the world.

“As a practicing GI physician, the support of the AGA is an enormous validation for our mission,” says Stephen Steinberg, MD, CEO and President of EndoSound, Inc. “We were initially honored as winners of the AGA’s Tech Summit 2022 Shark Tank. This investment is an even greater testament to their belief in our team and technology. We could not be more pleased with a partner who shares similar values and a desire to provide the utmost innovative technologies to the GI community, its physicians, and their patients.” 


By eliminating the burden of cost, the EVS will provide physicians with a technological option that can enable care for their patients in a greater number of locations and settings. This brings the potential for enormous benefits to patients, payers, and providers by reducing costs in the healthcare system. The EVS is not cleared by the FDA.

“We are excited to continue to build our fund’s portfolio of early-stage, high-growth GI companies with our recent investment in Endosound, a company with technology that converts any endoscope into an endoscopic ultrasound,” said Andrea Vossler, co-founder and managing director, Varia Ventures.


About EndoSound
EndoSound, Inc., is a privately held company based in Portland, Oregon. EndoSound is dedicated to expanding access to endoscopic ultrasound technology around the world. With its patented design, EndoSound transforms an upper endoscope into a fully functional EUS scope. It is comprised of an experienced team of scientists, engineers, clinicians, and seasoned business professionals with a track record of bringing new medical devices to market.

About AGA 

The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, AGA has grown to more than 16,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice, and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization. For more information, visit www.gastro.org.

The AGA Center for GI Innovation and Technology supports innovation and the development of new technology in gastroenterology, hepatology, nutrition and obesity by guiding medical device and therapeutics innovators through the technology development and adoption process.

About Varia Ventures 

Varia Ventures is a next-generation venture capital platform for professional organizations interested in building wealth for themselves and their members through investing in a portfolio of highly curated, emerging companies originating from their organizations. Varia’s platform blends insights from key opinion leaders, strategic partners, and industry experts through its “end-to-end” technology solution designed to both support early-stage companies while providing compelling investment opportunities to its investors. For more information, visit variaventures.com.



ASCs, the Benefits of Physician Ownership

Two physicians opened the first ambulatory surgical center (ASC) in 1970 in Phoenix, Arizona to create a workplace where they could call the shots. For the first time, physicians were in control of everything from scheduling to the types of medical equipment purchased.

While many ASCs remain independent (100 percent physician-owned) like the very first one, the intense market demand for care outside of the hospital setting has led to an influx in corporate investment and co-ownership of practices. Still, today, more than 5,800 ASCs exist all over the country, providing economic and convenience benefits to providers and patients alike for same-day surgical procedures.

“Over the last several years, it’s become apparent that the hospital setting just isn’t the most appropriate for a lot of surgical and procedural care,” according to Dr. Michael Owens, a gastroenterologist in Portland, Oregon. “Patients, health systems, and payers are all looking to the ASC now for mutual benefit.”

ASCs offer a plethora of procedures today, ranging from orthopedic surgery to endoscopy. According to March 2022 data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), 32 percent of single specialty ASCs, or EASCs, perform endoscopies – upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, etc. – and 37 percent of multispecialty centers offer endoscopy services.

“EASCs fit well for everyone in this healthcare scenario,” according to a study in Clinics and Colon and Rectal Surgery. “They are more efficient than hospital-based procedures, they are less costly to payers than hospital-based procedures, and they provide an additional source of revenue to healthcare providers.”

Pros and Cons of Physician Ownership

For providers with a full or partial stake in ASC ownership, the benefits extend beyond those offered owners of any profitable business, according to Owens. Physicians also have the chance to offer greater value-based care, he said.

For physicians with any stake in outpatient service ownership, benefits for them and their patients include:

  • Eliminating the need for negotiations over types of medical equipment used.
  • Having the opportunity to specialize in certain specialties of care.
  • Controlling scheduling and offering greater flexibility for patients.

“ASCs are typically nimbler, faster to react to change and may therefore have the ability to embrace new methods, technology and policies,” Owens said. “But this is not always the case, a poorly run ASC might be more disadvantaged than other sites of service.”

Having a good business partner can be crucial to success, Owens said, but it is not imperative for physicians to have a business administrative background to put the needs of their patients first and run a successful practice.

“We are professionals who do understand the delivery of health care as experts, and I’d encourage my colleagues to want more seats at the table,” he said.