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20 Common Foods with the most Antioxidants

USDA scientists analyzed antioxidant levels in more than 100 different foods, including fruits and vegetables. Each food was measured for antioxidant concentration as well as antioxidant capacity per serving size. Cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries ranked highest among the fruits studied. Beans, artichokes, and Russet potatoes were tops among the vegetables. Pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts ranked highest in the nut category.

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The Trouble With Cellulite

As fat is deposited under the skin it pushes the skin upwards. The dermal ligaments can not stretch and resist this where they are attached, holding the skin down. The fat bulging up around these areas where the skin is bound down by dermal ligaments is called cellulite.

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Three Strikes Against Tanning Beds

If anyone thought the jury was still out on the danger of tanning machines, new research may provide the clincher. A study from Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, NH, links tanning device use to basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the most common forms of skin cancer.

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Treatments for Leg Veins Stand the Test of Time

For the approximately 30 percent of the U.S. population affected by venous disease, covering up their varicose and spider veins with clothing or cosmetics can be a real pain. But the physical pain caused by this common medical condition is what drives most patients to seek treatment.

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Sclerotherapy and Diagnosis Abstracts from the Congress of the American College of Phlebology

Foam sclerotherapy has recently renewed the interest in sclerosing treatment of medium-large size veins.

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Customer Analysis & Buying Patterns

Pain in the Marketplace

Patients want to look better, not different. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 39% of women and 22% of men wish that they could change something about their appearance but only 25% of women and 14% of men surveyed said they would consider cosmetic plastic surgery.

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The Future Of Medical Spas

Work in Progress. Check back later.

Technology Factors: Technology companies are tripping all over themselves in order to come out with new technologies and gain market share. With over 30 companies offering devices for hair removal alone, choosing technology is an important part of our offering. The cost of picking the wrong device can increase your cost substantially. We have seen that in some of our competitors. They can't offer hair removal for large body areas (legs and backs) and make a profit. This has forced them to eliminate these areas from their offering.
The addition of treatments like Thermage, Collagen Point Induction, and Pointe Lifts place us in direct competition with plastic surgeons.
Regulatory Issues: We expect regluatory issues to continue to increase. This benefits us by increasing the barriers to entry in the marketplace. There are currently many states that have little if any regulation about physician oversight with these medical devices. As states and state medical boards look more closely into these new treatments it is expected that the majority of states will only increase the ammount of physician oversight required. The fact that there are numerous non-physicians taking money away from physicians and the occasional horror story should also factor in. If and when increased regulation takes place it will impact our competitors to a great extent. We predict that all states will settle around Surface's model; Direct, on-site physician oversight.
Anticipated Changes & Trends in Industry: As the population gets older the market will only grow. We also expect to begin see a shift away from day-spa treatments in favor of proven medically based treatments. Non-invasive technologies will also take off as more treatments come online.

Changes in Medicine: The move towards technology solutions should present us with growing opportunities. As we grow our patient base we become more attractive to other businesses looking for a foothold in the market.


Medical Spas - Competitive Analysis 

Work in progress.  Check back later...

Retail medicne has not been refined, there is little competition compared to other markets, use of technology is minimal, and medical offices are not designed for efficiency. These features of the industry have created a situation that is ripe with opportunity for a retail chain with the right mix of business strategy, medical offering, and marketing.

There are no core cosmetic medical giants. The largest competition consists of individual physician practices that do focus exclusively on medical technologies as part of their product mix. These practices are generally poorly managed and poorly marketed. Most of these practices manage one clinc, with a small minority managing two locations.

Most physicians use the same technology they did ten years ago—a cash register and a calculator. If they’re ahead of the curve they might use spreadsheets and a copy of Quickbooks or an outside service. Supply chain management, true online retailing, and real-time systems are almost unheard of in the medical industry outside of large hospitals.

Conventional cosmetic practices attempt to get customers in the door with yellow page ads, sell their clientele products they'll probably only use once, and then get them out the door. The medical spa by contrast is not just somewhere to buy something, but a destination in and of itself.

There are three types of service providers that form our current competition and from which potential customers may choose; medical spas, plastic surgeons/dermatologists, and day spas.

Medical Spas: Success breeds competition. Starting up a clinic or medical spa needs only financing and physician oversight. Neither presents much of a barrier to entry. What does create a barrier however is being first to market. A lead, especially in a rather small and insulated community should lead to an insurmountable barrier.

Some franchises and small chains have attempted to fill this market by creating an offering that attempts to remove the physician from the business as far as possible. These businesses "rent" a physician in order to provide medical oversight to their operations (either by co-locating or off-site) but their business plans are flawed.

  • This model prevents offering treatments that must involve or be performed by a physician.
  • The model presents a "strip mall" look and feel as a medical practice.
  • The physican providing oversight is at risk: It's his medical licence on the line.
  • The physician discovers that he can do it himself leading to managerial problems.
  • The physician can not be bound to provide oversight if he chooses not to.
  • The model makes less money since physician treatments have the highest margins.
  • There is no opportunity to add new physician treatments or technologies.
  • Marketing and PR abilities are curtailed.
  • The patient wants a specialized physician.

Plastic Surgeons/Dermatologists: The bulk of our competition comes from individual physicians offering cosmetic treatments, usually Botox, hair removal and/or skin rejuvenation procedures. In general, physicians do not have the marketing, advertising or PR savvy to pose a significant threat to entry into this business. In fact, prices and marketing will put pressure on these practices to stop offering competing services. 

Day Spas: Day spas offer some competition with their current client base and established presence. Their competing offerings may consist of hair removal, microdermabrasion, non-medical wrinkle, cellulite and facial treatments, and some Botox by visiting physicians. These visiting Botox treatments are generally promoted poorly. 

None of these competitors have a specialized scope of offering, marketing resources or focus that prevents competiton from entering the market. Those that offer competing services do so on a small, (and sometimes shoddy) scale and without  marketing savvy. 

Franchises and Chains.

More coming later...

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