Teen invents portable, low-cost dialysis machine

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RitaA
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Joined: Thu 1 Jul 2010 8:33

Teen invents portable, low-cost dialysis machine

Post by RitaA » Wed 19 Aug 2015 1:28

This gives me hope that current and future generations will come up with even more creative ideas when it comes to improving diagnostics and treatment methods for a wide range of diseases/illnesses.

Bravo, Anya!

http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/teen-invents ... -1.2522672
Teen invents portable, low-cost dialysis machine

CTV Montreal
Published Tuesday, August 18, 2015 5:13PM EDT

What started off as a science project may have a revolutionary impact for dialysis patients.

Montreal teenager Anya Pogharian has received international attention for a portable dialysis machine she created for a local science fair.

“I wanted to mimic the exact same circuit as a dialysis machine because I'm trying to see if the cost can be reduced while maintaining the functionality,” explained the teen inventor, who has spent well over 300 hours on the project, even though the science fair only required 10.

Inspired after a summer of volunteering at the Montreal General Hospital, the teen said she realized that a portable system could make a major difference.

Typically used by kidney disease patients, dialysis removes waste and excess water from the blood. It can be a time-consuming process.

“Dialysis normally takes hours in a hospital setting, several times a week,” she said, adding that a portable machine could help bring the treatment to those who need it abroad. “Like for example, 90 per cent of patients living in India and Pakistan who need the treatment to survive don't have access to it. So, a lot of preventable deaths.”

She started researching the problem online and read owner’s manuals of dialysis machines to provide inspiration and insight into how to invent her own.

While dialysis machines currently cost about $30,000, her second prototype cost about $550 to build and is receiving international interest.

Hema-Quebec approached her with an idea to test it in their Quebec City lab. The results were impressive.

“We were expecting to run the system for 2.5 hours and after 25 minutes (the patient) was already in the zone where we wanted the level of potassium to be, so the system was quite efficient,” said Yves Blais, vice-president of research and development for Hema-Quebec.

They've invited Pogharian back to test her third prototype when it's ready.

As she prepares to start her last year of CEGEP, Pogharian has a few projects on the side, including giving a Ted X talk and collaborating with a Harvard professor.

Developing her project is always top-of-mind, though.

“I just found it interesting, just really interesting and I saw there was a need and I figured, ‘Why don't I try something?’” she said.

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ChronicLyme19
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Location: NY, USA

Re: Teen invents portable, low-cost dialysis machine

Post by ChronicLyme19 » Wed 19 Aug 2015 15:56

At home machines are so much nicer than being in a hospital or infusion or dialysis room. I made the switch from IVIG in a crowded infusion clinic, to being able to inject subcutaneously myself at home and it was huge. I really hope they get this up and running. I have a cousin that is waiting for a kidney because of a birth defect and this could really help. His mom trained for years to become a dialysis nurse knowing the day would come when his body would outgrow the little kidney function he had.
Half of what you are taught is incorrect, but which half? What if there's another half missing?

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