Sunday, 29 November 2015

Wearable Artificial Kidney

The Wearable Artificial Kidney a.k.a. WAK is in the news.
We reported on this concept previously, in 2014, and before that in 2011 on a different device (which it was one of our most popular posts that year)

I've read about this in several news items, many saying it will replace dialysis machines. But of course it IS a dialysis machine. Admittedly smaller than normal and wearable.

The device is a 4.5kg (10lb) miniature dialysis machine that a patient can wear around their body. It looks bulky at the moment, but researchers believe they can get the weight down to just 2.3kg (5lb), as well as reduce its size.

It connects to a large vein in the body through catheter which has filters to separate water, salts and minerals out of the blood.

The filters have to be replaced once a week, and chemicals added once a day to clean the water filtered out.

Read more: here at the Daily Mail

You can watch a youtube video on the device HERE

Seven patients in Seattle, who had end-stage kidney disease, wore the device for 24 hours. The patients were also able to enjoy ice cream and cheesecake, which they weren't able to do on dialysis because it could lead to a dangerous build-up of minerals.

In a previous trials, participants were able to sleep with the devices, and were also be able to take showers and carry out other normal activities.

But there was one major flaw. Two patients stopped wearing the device before the trial ended because of technical issues.

The team said they are now working to fix the problem.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

We're Back!

I have been in the middle of moving house for quite some time and been unable to post anything for a while.

BUT, the move is now complete, after many minor problems, and so I hope to post a bit more often now.