Wearable artificial kidneys waiting for FDA approval

Wearable technology has made some great advancements lately, infiltrating in the medical technology field as well. New gadgets like heart rate monitors, blood pressure monitors, breath analyzers, DNA analyzers, scopes and the like have been brought into the wearable market and promise to offer easy monitoring of health metrics. The newest development in medical wearable technology are the wearable artificial kidneys being developed by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The artificial kidney project has been in the works since 2008, when the idea first popped into Dr. Victor Gura’s and his team’s heads. The team wanted to develop these wearable artificial kidneys so that patients with renal failure can bypass the costly and time-consuming dialysis performed at the hospital or at home. Currently, dialysis machines are very heavy to carry and tether patients that need to a fixed spot, without the ability of moving very much. The wearable artificial kidneys, even though they look rather odd, will help patients keep their mobility and be able to do tasks like walking, shopping and even working, whilst their dialysis treatment is being administered by the artificial kidneys.

The wearable artificial kidney system currently weighs about 10 pounds, which means that it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to have the waist-band carrying the gear tied to yourself. All the gear that comprises the artificial kidneys is neatly packed into a holster which you tie around your waist and the dialysis is done through that. It’s not the most attractive system, certainly bulky and obtrusive, but it is a considerable step ahead in wearable medical technology and it’s better than the heavy equipment found in hospitals.

The technology for the artificial kidneys has been developed and presented to the FDA which has approved clinical testing in the U.S. to begin in the following month. It remains to be seen how the artificial kidneys will evolve during clinical trials, but we hope the project will be successful and the FDA gives its approval for the wearable artificial kidney to be launched on the market. We’ve no information on price yet, but it will surely cost a fair deal of cash. Nonetheless, it will be a notable advance in medical technology and surely it will be further developed and turned into something even more portable, and affordable, through time.