Meet the future of dialysis!

For many years, the healthcare industry has doubled its efforts to offer better treatments to patients with an end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Joe Cosgrove knows that this hard work has helped millions of patients who probably wouldn’t have survived if it wasn’t because they had the chance to receive dialysis treatment. Most patients who had a kidney transplant which is being rejected by their bodies couldn’t find a kidney donor are very likely to go on dialysis for a long time.

The entire dialysis process involves filtering the patient’s blood in a machine (dialyzer) that is supposed to perform the kidney’s major functions. A dialyzer removes waste and excess of fluids from the blood and afterward returns the cleansed blood back to the body. This way some mineral chemical levels are kept stable and the patient’s body is able to function normally.

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Image courtesy of Helse Midt-Norge at Flickr.com

Why are dialysis innovations important?

Without the dialyzer intervention, it would be very complicated for patients with ESRD to survive. Nowadays, the market for dialysis devices reaches billions of individuals worldwide and it is expected to grow dramatically in the next 5 years due to the increase in the number of patients with diabetes and hypertension. Patients who need dialysis in the United States often are young adults or children who have certain responsibilities such as going to school or work. For this reason, the current dialysis methods don’t meet their needs.

The healthcare industry knows how important it is to work hard to improve the current dialysis methods in order to provide a better future for the growing number of patients worldwide. Developing more effective and portable dialysis devices would allow some patients to stay away from renal transplants and its associated complications. Also, for patients that are currently on dialysis, improving the existing systems will help them reducing the chances of having anemia, low blood pressure or infections associated with dialysis.

It is important to notice that today most dialysis patients prefer to go under a hemodialysis procedure instead of using the peritoneal one. However, both procedures should evolve in the future and offer patients the chance of using portable units or go under faster filtering processes. There are some advantages and disadvantages related to any of the dialysis methods. Nevertheless, improving the way they operate is supposed to have a positive impact on the life of the billions of people who depend on dialysis to survive.

Related: New dialysis technology designed to be more user-friendly for patients, staff.

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Image courtesy of Tim Gee at Flickr.com

Leaders in the dialysis industry

There are some companies such as Fresenius, Outset Medical, Baxter, and NxStage who control the dialysis device industry and are working hard to keep their leadership position. These companies are constantly launching new products and expanding their business in a way they can serve emerging markets and the growing number of patients in both developing and most developed countries.

The diversification in economic conditions and technological developments have allowed different companies to increase awareness towards dialysis, forcing manufacturers to invest in research and innovative therapies for patients with ESRD. Some of the most important changes which are defining the future of dialysis are listed below.

Outset Medical: During the Kidney Week, Outset Medical introduced the Tablo in the U.S. market. This device is a dialysis machine built from scratch which is supposed to operate exclusively in dialysis clinics, offering them the chance of using a simple system. The Tablo is supposed to be ready for sale in spring. The company is also working to develop a self-care unit for home dialysis applications.

NxStage: This company aims to work for the future of peritoneal dialysis, improving their groundbreaking System One home hemodialysis machine. The company’s CEO seems to be very confident about the progress they are making around home hemodialysis systems, eliminating the need of using bags of fluid during the peritoneal dialysis process. This system is also expected to be launched this year.

Baxter Health Care: With their Amia PD cycler, Baxter aims to change the way peritoneal dialysis is performed. Through the usage of Amia, the company offers patients a device which is easier to use, is light-weighted and offers State-of-the-art technology so caregivers can be connected to patients by using a system that looks a lot like a GPS.

Fresenius Medical Care: This is probably one of the companies which offer the most futuristic alternatives for the dialysis treatments. By researching and developing materials to improve the sorbent qualities of devices, Fresenius has developed a new home hemodialysis machine in collaboration with the Swiss engineering firm Debiotech SA. This way, Fresenius has been able to offer patients a new product platform with dialysis machines that are compact, easy to use at home and lightweight.

In conclusion, dialysis patients are a number one priority for healthcare companies dedicated to developing dialysis systems. This will allow caregivers to be connected to their patients while they are empowered to use more sophisticated, effective and portable dialysis devices.

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