Wearable Artificial Kidneys are ready to replace the Cumbersome Dialysis for patients

Hemodialysis is an expensive, slow, and cumbersome method that requires a kidney patient be attached to a machine. In addition to the inconvenience, patients develop buildup of fluids and minerals between dialysis sessions, which can result in high blood pressure and breathing problems and require severe dietary restrictions. Researchers have been looking for a more portable alternative for quite a while now.


Now, the results of an FDA-approved human trial of a wearable artificial kidney have recently been published. The device is essentially a miniature version of the traditional, stationary hemodialysis machine, and it could one day change current methods of dialysis.

It is more of a tool belt than anything smaller. But is small enough for a patient to carry around. The trial involved seven patients in Seattle with end-stage kidney disease who wore the device for 24 hours. During that time, the device removed water and salts from the blood at the same rate as healthy kidneys, and patients did not complain of discomfort or experience side effects.

“Getting the machine to be reliable and consistent is going to be the greatest challenge. … I’ll be convinced when they can keep patients stable for seven or 14 days,” said Leslie Spry, medical director for the Dialysis Center of Lincoln in Lincoln, Nebraska, and spokeswoman for the National Kidney Foundation, a patient advocacy organization.

Inventors as well as researchers of the device want to further focus on how it can be made easier to use at home. All things considered, the initial findings show that the process and the device may soon become a more convenient alternative to current methods used today.

Source: insight.jci.org





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