Honorable Mention Ultrafiltration Rate Autopilot for Hemodialysis
Fluid removal during hemodialysis is currently not tailored to the individual needs of the patients. As a result, too much or too little fluid is often removed during the treatment, which saddles patients with substantial morbidity and mortality. The increasingly widespread use of relative blood volume monitors presents a unique opportunity for improving this situation – however, two important roadblocks remained until now: 1. Ideal relative blood volume targets had thus far been ill-defined, and 2. Frequent manual ultrafiltration rate adjustments to meet such targets are not feasible.
We have developed an ultrafiltration rate Autopilot – a tool based on a proportional-integral controller that takes inputs from the hemodialysis machine and the commercially available CLiC® device (a relative blood volume monitor) to compute the ultrafiltration rate adjustments that are required to guide the patient's relative blood volume curve into favorable ranges that are associated with significantly improved survival.
The behavior of the ultrafiltration rate Autopilot prototype has been rigorously and successfully tested in a clinical pilot study, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has awarded our technology the 21st Century Breakthrough Device designation.
We firmly believe that this innovation will produce tangible benefits for patients, healthcare providers and healthcare systems.
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