The Role of the Kidney
The kidneys play a crucial role in fluid balance, the elimination of toxins int he blood, and the balance of several chemical elements in the human body.
Kidney disease is now reaching epidemic proportions. The three highest causes/risk factors of kidney disease are diabetes due to obesity, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Dialysis is used when the kidney can no longer function adequately.
Currently, dialysis is typically performed three times a week in a clinic or hospital for four to six hours each visit. This intermittency results in these issues between sessions:
Body fluid volume increase
Waste (toxin) accumulation
Electrolyte imbalance (e.g. sodium, potassium)
Between dialysis treatments patients feel lethargic, nauseous, and generally poor because waste, fluids, and electrolytes accumulate between treatments and upset normal body function.
What is a Wearable Artificial Kidney?
GFR90 is commercializing a wearable dialyzer which will be used to continuously perform the function of the kidney. Essentially, this is an ambulatory dialysis device worn like a vest which corrects blood and fluid volume levels to closer to normal levels continuously as it is worn. Reducing fluid volume and toxin levels will lead to improved quality and length of life.
We have developed an ambulatory dialyzer which allows a patient to be dialyzed as they move about. This means that the patient can be dialyzing while attending a ball game, vacuuming their home, or dining out. This freedom, in addition to the direct health effects from near continuous dialysis, will be the keys to this product’s success.
This is not to be confused with a portable dialysis machine. Portable dialysis machines are carried from point to point but not meant to function during transport. Therefore, the patient remains stationary (sitting or laying) as they are connected to the machine and are dialyzed. This is typically done at home.