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Wearable kidneys could replace dialysis machines

CNN reports on a new wearable technology device that could one day replace the need for kidney dialysis machines. Dialysis is the process of removing waste and excess water from the blood and is used primarily as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function. It is used for those who have suffered from kidney failure. The kidneys normally carry out the process of removing waste and toxins from the blood.

Trials have been undertaken with seven patients and the results are described as successful. The patients wore the devices for 24 hours. The device succeeded in removing water and salts from a patient’s blood at the same rate and with the same efficiency as a dialysis machine. The patients involved in the study did not report any discomfort. Other trials have taken place in Europe, with similar success.

The new device weighs under 10 pounds and it runs off 9-volt batteries. Remarkably the device uses less than 400 milliliters of fluid.

The device was designed at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study was led by Victor Gura, an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the school. The results have yet to be reported to a peer-reviewed journal. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have expressed an interest in the device and are prepared to ‘fast track’ it once additional trials have been completed.

In related news, an all-in-one glucometer kit, which uses Bluetooth technology to track patient data, has been developed. The device has been named “The Sugar Cube”, and it is designed to help diabetics manage their care. The prototype came about through a crowd funding campaign.

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