Innovations in Dialysis: Expediting Advances Symposium

Innovations in Dialysis: Expediting Advances Symposium

August 20, 2019
1 min read

First patient begins CVS trial with Dean Kamen-designed home dialysis machine

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Dean Kamen

SEATTLE — After training and 4 days of treatments in a dialysis clinic, the first patient involved in clinical trials for a new CVS-funded home hemodialysis machine is expected to begin treatment at home later this week, according to an update at the Innovations in Dialysis: Expediting Advances Symposium here.

Segway designer Dean Kamen, who made the announcement, has partnered with CVS to build the Hemacare, a home hemodialysis (HHD) machine that he and his company, DEKA Research & Development Corp., had originally built in partnership with Baxter Renal Care. That machine, called the Vivia, was placed in clinical trials in March 2016, but Baxter ended the trials shortly thereafter because of technical problems.

Kamen had worked with Baxter previously in designing the first PD machine and sold the company a pocket-sized, wearable infusion pump system in 1981 that could deliver insulin to patients with diabetes. He and his engineering team at DEKA also designed the Segway Human Transporter in 2001.

However, much of his focus has involved medical devices since forming DEKA in 1982, he told the near 200 attendees at the IDEAS conference, which is sponsored by the Centers for Dialysis Innovation at the University of Washington.

The DEKA-CVS partnership is unique.

“It doesn’t say Baxter [on the machine],” he said as he showed the audience a picture of the Hemacare. “It says CVS — it is your corner drug store.”

Companies like CVS will be part of health care delivery in the future, Kamen said, include development of wearable and portable kidneys. Simplicity, he said, will be the key.

“There should be a big green button that says ‘go’, and a red button that says ‘stop.’ That’s all the patient needs to know,” Kamen said. – by Mark E. Neumann