Complications brought on by kidney disease and kidney failure are extensive, and current treatments leave a lot to be desired. Kidney dialysis treatment is quite limiting in that it requires one to be connected to a stationary machine for an extended amount of time, highly restricting movement and preventing patients from engaging in regular day-to-day activities. While this treatment has been shown to effectively combat the specific health-related issues brought on by kidney complications, its restrictive and debilitating nature ultimately leaves patients with an overall poor quality of life.
As a result of major concerns with this standard treatment, new investigations have begun to examine the efficacy and safety of wearable artificial kidneys. Trials authorized by the Food and Drug Administration during 2015 demonstrated that these devices adequately filtered all waste products from the bloodstream, as well as excess amounts of water and salt. There were no adverse side effects brought on by the use of the devices during the trials, although some technical difficulties were experienced. Throughout the study patients expressed their satisfaction with the treatment, indicating their preference for the wearable kidney over standard dialysis treatment.
The initial study primarily served to highlight incorporating wearable artificial kidneys in the treatment of kidney disease and kidney failure is a viable and effective alternative to standard dialysis treatment. And with the success of the trials, researchers are hopeful further development of their prototype will allow patients to access a smaller, easier product in stores.
With well over two million people worldwide being treated with dialysis, and the increasing health and economic burdens put in place by kidney disease, developing and perfecting wearable artificial kidney technology is becoming more important to both scientists and patients. This form of treatment has already shown to greatly improve the quality of life of people with kidney complications, allowing them to live normal lifestyles that are significantly unrestricted by treatment.