As noted in previous posts here on the Community Blog, dialysis is a therapy whose time has come, and disruptive innovation is needed. In a first-of-its-kind partnership between the US Department of Health and Human Services and the American Society of Nephrology, the ongoing KidneyX: Redesign Dialysis prize competition is looking to spur medtech innovation that completely disrupts the way kidney failure is treated.
As the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) describes it, vascular access is so important to a hemodialysis patient that it can be considered a ‘lifeline.’ However, this vital access site is prone to stenosis, thrombosis, and costly re-interventions. Laminate Medical Technologies hopes to support this critical lifeline with a first-of-its-kind external support device for AV fistulas, that alleviates wall tension and regulates an undesired narrowing of the vein and/or frequent blockages of the blood vessels.
End-stage renal disease treatment is a little known but dominant cost driver for the global healthcare system, and the number of patients needing regular dialysis in order to stay alive—and repeated interventions to combat complications—is growing. With its origins as a blood-filtering machine devised from tin cans, sausage casings and other non-medical parts by a determined Dutch physician in World War II Netherlands, today medical device companies such as Healionics are working to address the most critical and costly unmet need in dialysis: maintaining healthy and functional access to the bloodstream.