How a new technology is bringing dialysis to the home

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(BPT) - Despite being a kidney disease patient for over 30 years, Dick Henry and his wife and care partner Liz still try to participate in their favorite pastimes like travel and golf. However, over the last five years, Dick struggled to enjoy his life to the fullest because of his seven-day-a-week peritoneal dialysis (PD) treatments.

"He was spending 75 hours a week on dialysis," said Liz. "By June 2020, Dick had a peritoneal infection, followed by another more serious one which required a week of hospitalization. He was very sick and felt ill most days. He couldn't do any of the things we used to enjoy doing together."

Because of these infections, Dick's health deteriorated to a point where he couldn’t continue with PD treatments, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-center dialysis wasn't a suitable option either.

“The decision was made easily and quickly that it was time to convert to hemodialysis from PD, and the timing was perfect because a system called Tablo had just become available for home use,” said Liz.

A growing need for at-home dialysis

Dick's story is unfortunately a common one. Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States. The National Institute of Health estimates that nearly 786,000 Americans are living with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) today, a figure that is expected to grow to more than 2 million by 2030, dramatically increasing the number of people who rely on dialysis.

Dialysis is a life-saving treatment for patients with kidney failure, but it does come at the cost of a patient's time and comfort. More than half a million Americans receive dialysis treatments three or more times per week, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Each session can take 3-4 hours, and most dialysis patients need to drive to a hospital or clinic for treatment. These treatments are time-consuming and take patients and their caregivers away from their homes and daily lives.

Growing in popularity in recent years due to the healthcare landscape and access to innovation, home dialysis treatments can help kidney patients have more flexibility and control over their treatments, and their schedule. And, while there are few physical limitations on who can receive dialysis at home, only about 13% of people who dialyze currently do, despite data indicating that patients do better on home compared to in-center hemodialysis. The good news is that many patient advocacy organizations and government policy initiatives are now hard at work to expand access to home dialysis—with patient, care partner, and healthcare provider education being key to increasing awareness and empowering patients with choice over their treatment. One of these is the 2019 Advancing American Kidney Health initiative, that established a goal of 80% of ESRD patients treated with either home dialysis or a kidney transplant by 2025.

Take back your time and your life

When Dick found out about Tablo, an at-home hemodialysis treatment, he felt hopeful. "When I heard there was a new hemodialysis machine on the market, I thought, 'Here's something that could really improve my life.'"

The Tablo Hemodialysis System is a significant technology advancement that improves the dialysis experience, and empowers patients to control when, where and how they dialyze. It is easy to learn and use with a touchscreen guiding you through every step, and fits effortlessly into your home.

The biggest difference Dick found was the length and frequency of his dialysis sessions. "Instead of spending 75 hours a week on dialysis, I was able to cut it down to 16." He felt that the new at-home treatment allowed him to reclaim his life and get back to doing what he loves. "There was a time where I could hardly walk and I certainly couldn't golf. Now, I'm playing golf several times a week."

Liz found that switching to hemodialysis at home with Tablo made their lives more flexible. "Because it's only four hours and we can dialyze at home, we can look at our calendars and plan his treatments week by week." At-home dialysis gave Dick and Liz their free time back. Now they can travel again, take walks, make overnight trips to the coast, and visit their children and grandchildren.

Home dialysis doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming, and you can reclaim your independence so you can do the things you love with the people you care about. To learn more about Tablo and how it can help you take control of your dialysis treatment safely at home, visit TabloHomeNow.com.

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