In Brief
Positive results from the first clinical trial on a wearable artificial kidney may soon replace dialysis.

Kidney Disease

For anyone suffering from kidney disease, their only course of treatment is hemodialysis—a costly, time consuming, and cumbersome method that requires a patient being hooked up to a machine. Through the years, researchers have sought to find a wearable and portable alternative that could allow for more mobility and more sessions, but minus the hassle.

Now, the results of an FDA-approved human trial of a wearable artificial kidney have just 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.

FDA-Approved Human Trial

Based on this initial trial, no serious or adverse effects were reported, with patients’ circulatory systems remaining stable. However, the device experienced technical problems after the seventh patient, where it started producing a formation of carbon dioxide gas bubbles in the dialysis solution.

These technical issues require further study before testing can be completed. Patients involved in the study gave higher satisfaction ratings than former methods, as this method allowed them to receive treatment at home, lowered hospital visits, and let them experience better quality of life despite their conditions.

Inventors as well as researchers of the device want to focus efforts on redesigning the device so that it’s easy to administer and operate at home by the patients.

All things considered, the initial findings show that the process and the device may one day become a more convenient alternative to current methods used today.