Sponsored Links

New devices enable at-home dialysis

Marc Perton
Marc Perton|July 12, 2005 4:20 PM

dialysisFor most of the 400,000 Americans with kidney failure, life is dominated by visits to the dialysis center. Travel, work and other activities take second place to those thrice-weekly life-sustaining visits. However, a movement is afoot to allow more patients to get dialysis at home, which in addition to being more convenient, also allows patients to get their blood cleaned daily. Key to making it work are new suitcase-size dialysis machines, like NxStage Medical's System One (pictured), which weighs just 70 pounds, compared to other "small" dialysis systems that can weigh up to 300 pounds. Of course, for at-home dialysis to catch on, Medicare will need to pick up the tab, which may not happen if the home-based systems are significantly more expensive than dialysis centers. But at least one insurance-industry study has shown that at-home treatment can result in fewer hospital stays, saving the government health-care program as much as $20,000 per year per patient.