Well, an artificial kidney is a major breakthrough in the healthcare niche and even though it is not quite affordable (as of yet), scientists and researchers are working hard to make it cost-effective in the long run.
Why Is An Artificial Kidney So Useful?
See, kidneys are among the most vital organs in your body and to put simply, you cannot live without them.
Furthermore, even if we consider an organ transplant, patients have to wait for several years before they get a suitable donor.
So basically, an artificial kidney overcomes all of the shortcomings mentioned above, while offering a more ‘practical’ and friendly solution.
How Does An Artificial Kidney Work?
Here comes the interesting part. Each Artificial Kidney comes in two halves. The job of the first one is to remove toxins and that is why it’s nested with several fibers that contain hundreds and thousands of silicon membranes. The density of their pores is so high that they can filter the blood without using any external pressure. Please note that this half is responsible for getting rid of water, sugars, toxins and other salts from the bloodstream.
Now the filtered blood is allowed to flow into the other half, which happens to be a cartridge, filled with more silicon membranes. However, these are different from the previous ones as the membranes are coated with human kidney cells, allowing them to reabsorb the minerals. In the meanwhile, vitamin D is also produced during the process.
Anything that is still not reabsorbed in the second half is sent to an attached tube which then transports the content to the bladder, to be passed as urine.
There are various approaches in the market and several manufacturers are using optimized techniques every year to roll out more efficient devices.
Benefits Of Artificial Kidneys To The Medical Sector
See, if a patient has ESRD (End-Stage Renal Disease), it becomes imminent for him to undergo dialysis or get the kidney replaced. Therefore, it is quite understandable that the benefits offered by an Artificial Kidney are directly related to your longevity and quality of life.
If you have ever got a chance to attend a patient undergoing dialysis, you must be aware that the procedure lasts roughly 4 hours and above all, it is nerve-racking! Just imagine a sick person sitting idle in a position for 4 hours every time.
From that perspective, Artificial Kidney is a great alternative as it happens to be an ‘on the go’ solution.
Just as I mentioned above, an Artificial Kidney does not restrict you to a particular posture. You either wear it or it gets incorporated within your body and you are free to walk and travel, while everything is being handled by the miniature machine!
In order to receive an actual organ from a donor, patients often have to wait for several years. Even though this delay is understandable, it either deteriorates the health or kills more patients. Therefore, an Artificial Kidney is a pretty reasonable solution in this regard as it does not require you to wait for someone else to donate the organ.
Future Trends For Artificial Kidney
Artifical kidney marks the beginning of a huge collaboration where people from different fields come together. And propose solutions for the optimization of the product.
As of yet, probably the catchiest thing is that researchers and doctors now want to fuse Artificial Kidney with AI. Currently, the dialysis machines are neither able to adjust to unexpected changes during the treatment. Nor can they ‘learn’ about the patient’s experience in order to optimize the treatment next time.
How about combining AI with artificial kidneys? These devices will be able to adapt and take intelligent decisions from one patient to another. If we involve bioengineering as well, we could use our own cells to generate an identical kidney.
Final Thoughts On Artificial Kidney
However, regardless of the fact that this development is huge and paves way for many feasibilities. We should note that artificial kidneys are not fully capable of providing the full functionalities of a human kidney. However, scientists and medical researchers are trying their best to ensure that these products can serve all the vital functions.
Another thing that you must consider is that Artificial Kidneys are not yet mainstream. Most people either go for dialysis or transplant. Therefore, if you choose to go for an Artificial Kidney, please do your research and take the second opinion.