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AWAK Automated Wearable Artificial Kidney

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AWAK Automated Wearable Artificial Kidney

The AWAK offers continuous, portable dialysis treatment….

The AWAK an automated, wearable artificial kidney, may one day eliminate the need for dialysis patients to spend hours hooked up to a machine at the hospital every week.

The portable device, originally designed by the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and a pair of UCLA researchers, weighs about 10 pounds and is powered by two 9-volt batteries.

Wearable-Artificial-Kidney-WAK

Wearing the belt-like device, patients undergo continuous, gentle dialysis as they go about their daily activities.

Researchers stated in a recent news release from the American Society of Nephrology, that preliminary tests of the wearable artificial kidney have already proved successful. However experts agree that more trials should be conducted before the AWAK is made available to the public. Dr. Victor Gura, of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in the news release:

“The long-term effect of this technology on the well-being of dialysis patients must be demonstrated in much-needed clinical trials,”

If the AWAK does make it to manufacturing stage, the promise of a constant dialysis offers a paradigm change in dialysis treatment.

Currently, dialysis patients face major inconvenience and high rates of hospitalization and death. More than 400,000 people in the United States undergo dialysis at a cost of more than $30 billion a year.

“We believe that the wearable artificial kidney will not only reduce the mortality and misery of dialysis patients, but will also result in significant reduction in the cost of providing viable health care,” Gura said.

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