This is following breakthrough work facilitated by the Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative (D4D), involving experts at the University of Sheffield.
The new haemodialysis machine is intended to replace the need for patients with kidney disease to make trips to the hospital three times a week to undergo dialysis. This is a treatment which removes waste from the blood when the kidneys can no longer function as normal. The news comes in time for World Kidney Day on 11 March 2010, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of kidneys, kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.
Although leading renal units have managed to implement some successful home haemodialysis programs using standard equipment, these machines are complex, large and heavy. This has left patients with limited options on where to install the system, a problem the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded D4D Co-operative wanted to address.
The D4D Co-operative, which is led by Professor Wendy Tindale, Clinical Director for Devices for Dignity, who holds a chair at the University of Sheffield and is Consultant Clinical Scientist and Scientific Director at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, is aimed at driving forward innovative new products to help people with debilitating conditions deal with their daily challenges. As a result, the project brought together experts from the hydraulics industry and the NHS, which led to the formation of a new company, Quanta Fluid Solutions, and the development of the revolutionary new machine.
The Quanta machine uses a sophisticated cartridge to mix the water and salt solutions required to generate the fluid required for dialysis. Although it produces the fluid in small aliquots, it is able to match the flow rates of a standard machine so that patients receive exactly the same high quality treatment they would receive in a hospital haemodialysis unit. As the cartridge is disposable, the need for disinfecting the fluid pathways of the machine after each dialysis is eliminated.
Having the machine at home allows patients to adapt their treatment schedule, enabling them to dialyse at times which fit into their daily lives. They can also chose to have short sessions each day, reducing the build up of excess fluid and toxins between treatments, or to have slow, gentle dialysis overnight.
In addition, according to latest medical research, more frequent and longer dialysis will have a beneficial impact on patient survival and long-term overall wellbeing. Current hospital dialysis capacity is unlikely to be able to expand to cope with the increased treatment delivery required, so the new haemodialysis machine aims to provide a cost effective solution for increased dialysis frequency for a significant proportion of kidney patients.
The new machine will be undergoing regulatory tests and trials later this year. If all goes well, staff and patients at the Sheffield Kidney Institute, the University of Sheffield´s Nephrology Unit, and at Leeds Teaching Hospitals will be starting the clinical evaluation early next year. It is anticipated that the launch of the system in the UK market will be late 2011 and it will be made available to dialysis patients via their local renal units in the NHS Trusts that have progressive home programs.
Professor Wendy Tindale, Clinical Director for Devices for Dignity, who holds a chair at the University of Sheffield and is Consultant Clinical Scientist and Scientific Director at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said: “This is a very exciting development which has been facilitated by the industrial, academic and clinical partnerships created by Devices for Dignity. The opportunities this will give for renal patients to have more independence, flexibility and improved quality of life are significant. This is an excellent example of the way in which the Department of Health´s mission to deliver care closer to home can be realised.”
Professor Albert Ong, Head of the Academic of Nephrology at the University of Sheffield, said: “This new device could revolutionise the treatment of patients with kidney failure by making dialysis more available and flexible. It will also shift the emphasis of treatment away from the hospital into the home.”
Notes for Editors: The haemodialysis machine is being developed by Quanta Fluid Solutionsand facilitated by Devices for Dignity, which is a national initiative as part of the Department of Health programme and aims to drive forward innovative new products, processes and services to help people with debilitating conditions deal with their daily challenges.
Devices for Dignity provides access to healthcare professional and patient representation primarily through the Healthcare Technology Co-operative node at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. For more information on Devices for Dignity, visit the link below.
Quanta Fluid Solutions are a British company based in the West Midlands who have been closely monitoring trends in healthcare where innovation in clinical practice is improving patient outcomes. For more information on Quanta, visit the link below.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)provides the framework through which the research staff and research infrastructure of the NHS in England is positioned, maintained and managed as a national research facility. The NIHR provides the NHS with the support and infrastructure it needs to conduct first-class research funded by the Government and its partners alongside high-quality patient care, education and training. Its aim is to support outstanding individuals (both leaders and collaborators), working in world class facilities (both NHS and university), conducting leading edge research focused on the needs of patients. For more information on the NIHR, visit the link below.
To find out more about World Kidney Day, visit the link below.
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