Another ‘Wearable Device’ has been invented and this time its more of health science than a playable gadget, as science has for long acted as a boon for the citizens of the world and now it has come to the rescue of patients whose Kidneys have stopped working on the move.
A team of medical researchers have been successful in building a miniature dialysis machine that can be worn on the body by the people whose kidneys have stopped working on the move to filter their blood.
The miniature dialysis machine is being called as the WAK – Wearable Artificial Kidney. It can be worn around the body by the patient just like a utility belt and connects to the patient via a catheter. The wearable artificial kidney is very light at five kilograms and easy to use as it runs on batteries.
Dr. Victor Gura and his talented team from University of California are the genius brains behind this wonder product. According to the team, the main aim behind developing this Wearable Artificial Kidney was to relieve the patients off the pain of large dialysis machines. The wonder product will give the patients suffering with late stage Kidney failure the freedom and liberty to walk and shop freely anywhere while still having their dialysis.
Traditionally, the patients suffering from Kidney failure are required to stay at one place when their blood is getting filtered by a bulky dialysis machine. This four hour session of dialysis is a must for three times a week.
The Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK) has been made possible because of a new type of pump and lighter and more durable batteries.
One reason for developing the device is to allow patients more mobility during a dialysis session and the ability to go about some of their daily activities while the device runs. With present-day dialysis treatment, patients are tethered to a cumbersome machine. On average, such sessions occur three times a week and three to four hours each time.
Another reason the researchers entered this device-development field is because they were concerned about the lack of progress in treating patients with end-stage renal disease. People with this condition have a relatively poor quality of life and a high mortality rate.
The device has already been tested on animals and has recently been granted approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration to start proper testing of the device on humans.
Dr. Victor Gura, a physician specializing in internal medicine and kidney disease, created the initial prototypes for the WAK in his clinic in Beverly Hills, Calif. He completed the prototypes in a lab at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. His original team included the late Austrian physicist and equipment safety standards developer Hans Dietrich Polachegg, as well as bioengineer Masoud Beizai, and physician and medical device researcher Carlos Ezon, both of whom live in Los Angeles. Gura is a clinical associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
The WAK device and its components have several U.S. and foreign patients. Wearable Artificial Kidney is being registered as a trademark.
At this point it isn’t possible to provide a firm time frame for availability for Wearable Artificial Kidney device. Before it could be a real option for general use by patients in renal failure, the WAK still must pass several clinical trials and undergo design improvements. Its continued development also would require obtaining additional funding.