How the Future of Dialysis Technology is Changing

Out of the approximately 100,000 people on the waiting list, there are only enough kidneys for 20% of patients. That leaves 80% of patients with kidney failure on the line (and on your bottom line).

The only hope for the 80% that don’t get a kidney is dialysis, which isn’t pleasant. It’s expensive for both clients, insurances, and facilities alike. It’s also disruptive to the patient’s everyday lives. Needless to say, dialysis could be better.

Will it get better? People are working on it, but only time will tell. Learn about the medical professionals, entrepreneurs, and scientists trying to improve dialysis technology below.

Portable Kidneys

The startup Qidini Labs is working on a nano-filter artificial kidney. The filter works as a tiny dialysis machine, almost like a small portable kidney.

The unit connects to dialysis ports on the neck and the patient (a sheep at this point) can go on with their day.

In October, Qidini labs won $550,000 in funding for this project, but the founder says they need at least two million to make it ready for human testing.

With this constantly working nano dialysis machine, renal failure patients wouldn’t need clinical dialysis at all. With increased functioning and an open schedule, they may even be able to go back to work!

Scientific Kidney Tissue

What if we could put an end to needing any sort of dialysis technology altogether? Scientists have made the first steps towards making that happen as of Friday, February 9, 2018.

Scientists at Manchester University successfully grew human kidney tissue that is able to produce urine. They used embryonic stem cells to grow Kidney Glomeruli, which make up parts of the organ.

They then combined this kidney stem cell mixture with a “gel-like substance” and inserted it into mice. Within three months, human kidney structures formed inside the mice.

The only thing missing? A large artery to power the kidney. This means these constructed-organs will only function at a fraction of a normal kidneys power.

We’re too far off to tell if this will mean occasional dialysis for renal failure patients or if the discovery cancels out the need for dialysis technology at all. Whatever happens, it’s an exciting development we’ll be sure to keep on our radar.

New Stem Cell Shunts

A company in California is in the late stages of testing a “lifelong shunt” in patients with renal failure. It’s made of human stem cells, unlike the man-made material of current dialysis shunts.

The idea behind it? The body won’t reject organic material and will be able to fight it’s own shunt infections. The shunt becomes a piece of the patient’s body, like any other.

Humacyte’s new shunt development is in stage two and three of FDA clinical trials. More research needs to be done on the long-term health of the patients before it’s released to the public.

Future Dialysis Technology and Cost Analysis

While there is still much work needed on these developments, we at Specialty CM are excited about the possibilities. Were they to come to fruition, these advancements would cut down on daily dialysis needs for both patients and clinics.

With less time and effort in a dialysis center, financial and human resources could be re-assigned to lacking places in a clinic. More financial efficiency, less staff tied up in dialysis, and more patient freedom? That’s what we want to see!

Until then, see how we can help you cut your costs in other ways. Give us a call today!