FierceMedicalDevices' 2012 Fierce 15

By Damian Garde and Mark Hollmer

Our first annual list of the 15 most innovative and exciting privately held medical device and diagnostics companies around certainly runs the gamut.

We highlight startups focused on innovative new approaches to obesity, novel new surgical tools where no incision is necessary, and cutting-edge diagnostics driving the personalized medicine boom. We'll even tell you about a device company with a signature product that significantly boosts the standard of care in its particular space but is shockingly and unexpectedly simple in its approach at the same time. (Why didn't anybody invent it sooner?)

And while our Fierce 15 list varies, our CEO interviews revealed some interesting threads that linked all of the companies together. Among them: an equal focus on ingenuity and practical issues such as securing reimbursement and presenting a strong cost-benefit argument. All the companies' innovations also target ways to save money for patients and payers, reducing trips to the clinic, for example, or figuring out how to minimize unnecessary CT scans. Collectively, they are also seeking to bring new ideas to the table, united in a desire to attack a very common problem with a solution no one thought of before, in areas including cancer, obesity, chronic pain, heart disease and more.

For those of you new to the Fierce 15 tradition, our edition follows in the substantial footsteps of the can't-miss list of the top 15 biotech companies that our Editor-in-Chief John Carroll and Executive Editor Ryan McBride run in FierceBiotech each year. (You can see this year's list here.)

We were impressed with the number of nominations filed from readers--especially as this is our first time out of the gate--and all drew serious consideration from both of us. But we also focused on other standout companies that are making waves in the device or diagnostics industry and demand further attention.

We present to you our FierceMedicalDevices Fierce 15.

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