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New web-connected dialysis devices are helping Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) staff better care for patients with kidney failure, in the comfort of their own homes.
While home dialysis has been around for a while, the upgraded machines track, monitor and send vital information back to the treating team via the web—allowing them to remotely change prescription settings if need be.
Peritoneal Dialysis Unit Nurse Unit Manager Kylie Pegg said patients felt secure knowing their healthcare team was tracking their health.
“The new dialysis machines perform treatment overnight while the patient sleeps. It then uploads all treatment information – including how the dialysis went, any problems, and the patients weight and blood pressure – to a secure cloud-based platform where our team can access it,” she said.
“It gives us an up-to-date picture on how they are going, without the patient needing to make extra visits to the hospital.”
Dialysis machines do all the work done by healthy kidneys such as preventing build-up of excess water, salt and waste in the body, and regulate blood pressure.
“For people with kidney failure, their options are dialysis or a transplant. Depending on the severity of their condition, they could need dialysis every day,” Ms Pegg said.
“These machines help keep people in the comfort of their own homes, while also ensuring they’re being monitored and cared for.”
Ms Pegg said 11 patients were using the devices, and an additional nine would be trained to use them in the future.
“At the moment, we have 20 machines available that we’re training new patients to use,” she said.
“Most of our existing patients are happy with the ‘unconnected’ machines and will continue to come in every two months for a check-up. But we are also chatting with them about what they might prefer in the future.”