Renal Business Today managing editor Kasia Michalik is a graduate of Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. She joined Virgo Publishing in March 2012.
Getting the Word Out About Dialysis Innovations
Right now I am working on an in-depth report about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) end-stage renal disease (ESRD) Innovation Pathway program. In April, the FDA selected three out of 32 devices that hope to evolve the renal world.
The three devices are:
- An implantable Renal Assist Device (iRad). It is being developed by the University of California, San Francisco. It is a bio-artificial kidney designed to act like a normal kidney.
- A Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK) that is being developed by Blood Purification Technologies Inc., in Beverly Hills, Calif. The battery-powered device is to be worn around the waist on a belt.
- A Hemoaccess Valve System (HVS) was designed by Greenville, SC-based CreatiVasc Medical. This device has the potential to reduce the complications, of intrerventional surgery.
I have held interviews with the FDA, Dr. Victor Gura, Dr. Shuvo Roy, and Steve Johnson. These three men are all, in one way or another, involved with these new technologies. They are working day and night, and have been for many years, to make people's lives out there easier.
In addition to speaking with the specialists of this program and three devices, I decided to "take it to the street" and start speaking with patients, physicians, and other renal community members. Thank you Twitter.
Many of the people I have connected with don't know much about the program. Some have heard something about it, some know a little bit about one of the devices, but most haven't even the slightest idea of what I was talking about. I have gotten "let me research it and I'll get back to you."
All of this is really not surprising. Searching the Web, there really isn't that much information. Shocking, as this is 2012, and information, especially as significant as a possibility to improve ones life, should be out there.
The FDA released a press release and there have been articles here and there on the developments and hopes that the three people listed above have.
What do we really know about the program? Changes are coming, people and technologies are getting smarter and advancing every day. This specialty is in need of more of this. Why be so quiet about it? Why not get the information out there? This is why we are putting this report together.
Whether you are a doctor, nurse, dietitian, patient, administrator or hold any job description in the renal world, check back at early October and learn about these three amazing technologies. Share the hope that will make the iRad, WAK and HVS possible thanks to the innovation program.
After all, even though there have been improvements in the hemodialysis technology, it is 40-plus years old and change is good.