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Dialysis Devices

Dialysis devices are medical devices used mostly in case of kidney injury or failure to artificially replace kidneys functions and remove waste and excess water from the patient's blood. Enterprises in the dialysis equipment industry primarily manufacture dialyzers (artificial kidneys) and dialysis pumping machines for medical treatment of patients with kidney disease. Companies in this industry also produce other instruments used in the dialysis process, including catheters, blood pumps and tubing kits.

Dialysis is the artificial process of eliminating waste products such as urea, creatinine and excess water from blood. Dialysis is performed using specialized equipment called kidney dialysis devices and a solution called dialysate, a mixture of pure water and chemicals. The procedure is carefully controlled by dialysis equipment to extract wastes from blood without removing essential body substances and fluids.

Dialysis is performed in patients with acute or chronic kidney failure including chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). It is performed by trained health care professionals either at hospitals or dialysis centers. Home-based dialysis treatments are also possible. Diabetes, hypertension, malaria and glomerulonephritis are among the causes of kidney disease. Over-consumption of some medications also causes kidney failure.

An increasing patient pool, rising awareness of kidney malfunction treatments, the launch of new devices and improved government funding are among the key factors driving the global dialysis equipment market. The global market for these devices is forecast to reach $18 billion in a few years' time.

The major players in the dialysis market include Fresenius Medical Care AG, DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc., Baxter International, Inc., B. Braun Melsungen AG and Nipro Corporation. 

Key Market Segments

Kidney dialysis equipment may be classified as –

Hemodialysis devices –Hemodialysis (HD) is the most widely-used type of dialysis. A blood access device, dialysate, a dialyzer or an artificial kidney and machine pump along with accessories such as catheters, needles and blood tubing sets are required for hemodialysis. In HD, the patient's blood is pumped to a dialyzer composed of synthetic fibers. Blood is cleaned in the dialyzer and then returned to the patient’s body. HD treatments are generally performed in outpatient dialysis centers. Typically, HD is administered three times per week and takes two to four hours.

Peritoneal dialysis devices – This type of dialysis uses the patient's abdominal peritoneum as a membrane across which fluids and dissolved substances from blood are exchanged. In peritoneal dialysis (PD) a catheter is surgically inserted with one end in the patient’s abdomen and the other end protruding from the skin. PD is of two sub-types–

  • Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) is a manual form of PD, with no machine. This is the most commonly used form of PD and employs four to six exchanges per day.
  • Continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis (CCPD) is also known as automated peritoneal dialysis. This process uses a machine to automatically fill and drain the dialysate from the patient’s peritoneal cavity. CCPD is usually done at night as it lasts for 10-12 hours.

Regional Market Shares

North America, Europe and Asia are the largest markets for the global dialysis equipment business.

North America is the largest market for dialysis equipment, accounting for more than one third of the global dialysis devices market. Increasing numbers of kidney failure patients, the availability of better dialysis care facilities and favorable government healthcare policies are the key drivers for the dialysis equipment market in this region.

The European dialysis device market is also significant. High level of adoption of new technologies together with a large patient pool makes this region occupy a large share of the global market. Market saturation and governments’ healthcare cost containment measures in Europe may, however, slow the market’s growth in the near future.

Asia’s dialysis device market will likely grow at a rapid compound annual growth rate of about 10% in the foreseeable future. High growth is contributed by China and India. Increased incidence of kidney failure, rising awareness about the treatment of kidney malfunction, and improved government funding are some of the key factors driving the Asian kidney dialysis equipment market.

Market Outlook

Key trends driving the global medical monitors include –

Advances in dialysis software applications. Information technology is impacting the choice of dialysis modality.New software solutions enable patients to collect, review and transmits dialysis cycler data on and other vital physiological parameters to dialysis centers after each dialysis cycle. Dialysis center staff can access and review the transmitted data and guide on follow-up treatment. For instance, Nx2me, a mobile application developed by NxStage Medical, Inc., allows patients using a home hemodialysis system to have their treatment data sent wirelessly to the clinician.

New technologies enable the design of advanced wearable and portable dialysis devices. Advances in nanotechnology manufacturing, together with advances in electronics and miniaturization, have led to development of new wearable and portable dialysis devices. These are currently undergoing large animal and patient clinical trials. These devices could potentially improve patients’ quality of life by allowing them to continue with their daily activities while undergoing dialysis, and by lessening or removing dietary and fluid restrictions.  

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