I was thrilled this morning to learn that NxStage through their partners Kimal are launching the System One, a portable hemo dialysis machine in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Bill Peckham wrote about this here.
This is excellent news. I have been waiting for this machine to be available in India. It is now available in the US, UK and the Middle East. India shouldn't be too far behind, I am hoping.
There are two barriers to home dialysis in India - costs and perceived risk.
The cost of dialysis and the fact that a large number of people have to pay for their own treatments might dissuade someone from introducing systems like this in India. Costs, however are not a problem for some segments of the population. When you look at the size of the population, even a small percentage of this is good enough for a large number of potential home dialyzors.
The second and more important barrier is the perceived risk of dialysing at home. I say 'perceived' because dialysis at home is typically done more regularly and for longer hours. This makes the dialysis process more gentle and less risky. Less fluid is removed, the flow rates are less and the chances of any serious problem arising gradually diminish.
What is needed is patient education. Patients and their families must be educated on the benefits of more frequent and longer treatments. When they see (and feel) the benefits, adoption cannot but be widespread.
I am now hopeful that NxStage will bring the System One to India sooner rather than later. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!