In part 7 of this Exclusive Interview, Jamie Uribarri talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed during the ADA 2017 Scientific Sessions in San Diego, CA about advancements in dialysis technologies and why the pace of change is slow.
Jamie Uribarri, MD, is a physician and clinical investigator at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
Transcript of this video segment:
Freed: Well, being in the field, being a kidney specialist, do you see a lot of patients that go on dialysis?
Freed: I know from personal experience with family members, that it really takes away your life. Three days a week you’re in the clinic and then it takes you a day to recover and that leaves you one day a week to live. So it’s really a traumatic thing. And just out of curiosity, from your knowledge, technology is changing everything we do on a daily basis. Here you are seeing all the new technology, things that you would never think of. You call for Uber and a car pulls up and there is nobody in the driver’s seat and it says, “Welcome doctor, jump in, we will take you where you want to go.” So when it comes to dialysis, it’s expensive, it’s usually done at a clinic, are they doing things to miniaturize that and make it more acceptable for patients and that it won’t destroy their lives?
Uribarri: Yes and no. There have been attempts but very slowly moving. There’s a tremendous disproportion between the facts that you were mentioning, we go to the moon, we do a lot of fantastic things, but the basic technology of dialysis remains the same: very primitive and very limited for the patient. What I can tell you is that there are some attempts to do that. Part of that interest is that dialysis is paid by the government, which is good, but on the other hand, because it is a fixed payment, there’s not that much financial incentive for companies to develop new things. But I don’t want to go into those financial issues. In reality, in dialysis, there are some improvement. The machine for now, for example, we tend to push a lot for home hemodialysis and the machine is extremely compact and they can be fit in a corner at home. I do a lot of peritoneal dialysis, for example, and it has had tremendous advances. We have a new machine now that is very small, very compact and does all the therapy at night time and leaves the patient kind of free during the day time. So for people who are very motivated and like to self-care, there are some advances, but I grant you that they are baby steps. I would like to see much more.