The Wearable Artificial Kidney - closer than you can ever imagine
Posted Nov 09 2012 9:18pm
When I first heard about the Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK) by Dr. Victor Gura of Cedars Sinai-UCLA, I was a little skeptical. I thought it was good but it would be out in the market long after I was gone! These kinds of revolutionary treatments or devices usually take decades, if not more, to reach the common man, especially in countries like India.
For those who are not aware of what the WAK actually is, let me give you a small introduction. Dialysis machines currently are bigger than a typical washing machine. My machine is about 5 feet in height and about a foot and a half square. For my treatments, I need about 300 liters of pure water - water that has been treated by a Reverse Osmosis process. The water purification machine is also fairly large and I need a special storage tank to store the treated water. You can imagine how big the whole setup is. Not portable by any means.
A few years back, a machine called the NxStage System One was released. This was a true game changer. It reduced the size of the dialysis machine to about the size of a multi-function printer. It was also designed to be very easy to use so that patients could actually use it at home. This machine gave a lot of freedom to patients. They could now dialyze at home, they could travel with ease.