Newswise — Washington, DC (May 28, 2020) — The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the vulnerability of people with kidney failure who rely on in-center hemodialysis. People with kidney failure are at high risk of severe COVID-19 complications and are exposed to infection due to a kidney replacement therapy process that requires traveling to a dialysis facility multiple times a week.
The Board of Directors of the Kidney Health Initiative (KHI) released a position paper titled “Accelerating Technology Development During a Pandemic to Bring More People with Kidney Failure Home” urging the global medical device development community to accelerate home therapy technology to protect people with kidney failure from infection during this and future pandemics.
“Despite the many advances to home therapies in recent years, significant technology advancement must occur for greater adaption of this therapy option,” said Raymond C. Harris, MD, FASN, Co-Chair of KHI, “The global medical device development community needs to collaborate and overcome barriers to bringing more people with kidney failure home for treatment.”
Greater adaption of home therapy options such as home hemodialysis (HHD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD), in addition to accelerated development of wearable, portable, and implantable kidney replacement therapies, would offer people with kidney failure improved quality of life and protection from infection during the COVID-19 pandemic and future emergency situations.
While increased utilization of home therapies and developing an artificial kidney are priorities of the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Advancing American Kidney Health initiative and the KidneyX Redesign Dialysis Prize Competition, there are many scientific and technological barriers, described in KHI’s “Technology Roadmap for Innovative Approaches to Renal Replacement Therapy”, that need to be overcome to realize these goals.
The KHI Board of Directors considered a variety of issues impacting drug and device development in the kidney community during the COVID-19 pandemic and identified accelerating development of home therapies as central to improving care.
The Kidney Health Initiative is a key part of the newly created ASN Alliance for Kidney Health. KHI is uniquely positioned to realize ASN’s vision of a world without kidney diseases. As a public-private and collaborative partnership with the FDA and more than 100 organizations and companies, KHI catalyzes innovation and the development of safe and effective patient-centered therapies for people living with kidney diseases. Learn more at www.kidneyhealthinitiative.org.
Since 1966, ASN has been leading the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients. ASN has more than 21,000 members representing 131 countries. For more information, please visit www.asn-online.org or contact the society at 202-640-4660.
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