Innovative Israeli Home Dialysis System Gets Green Light from FDA
“liberDi,” an at-home kidney dialysis system developed in Israel, recently received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The technology will allow millions of people to receive the life-saving treatment at home, at work, on vacation—and not have to be at a treatment facility for several hours, multiple times a week. And the treatment will still be monitored by a physician, through advanced telemedicine technology.
“Our aim is to improve the quality of life of patients,” said Hezkiah Tsoory, liberDi CEO, a “Digital Dialysis Clinic.” “liberDi, which frees people from spending half of their lives in dialysis centers, is a disruptive technology in the dialysis market.”
The portable dialysis system is lightweight and connects to a physician through the patient’s cell phone. There is an automatic catheter flush that is designed to reduce the risk of infection. There are also sensors that monitor the patient’s vital signs and lets the doctor know how the patient is handling the treatment.
“The [FDA] study simulated a real-world environment and proved that anyone can operate the system following a single 90-minute proper training session,” a release by liberDi said. Tsoory added, “it is a very big achievement to be able to develop the system, test it and submit it for FDA approval and have it cleared for home use in such a short time.”
Tsoory says that dialysis through liberDi takes less than half an hour. Within 20 to 25 minutes, patients can disconnect and get on with the rest of their day. It is estimated that one in ten people have kidney disease worldwide. Currently, 90 percent of patients receive treatment in a dialysis clinic—which can take several hours, three times a week. And while dialysis can extend life for 5 to 10 years for most people, half of that time is spent in a treatment center.
liberDi is not the first at-home dialysis option, but the trend toward treatment away from a facility is still catching on. “But all doctors say they want to see patients treated at home and not in hospital,” said Edwina Brown, Professor of Renal Medicine, Imperial College London said. Brown says that only 10 percent of Israelis, 15 percent of Brits, and 30 percent of Scandinavians do their treatments at home. She hopes that will change as more systems like liberDi come on the market.
For instance, with liberDi, patients can go on vacation, arranging for dialysis fluid to be waiting for them wherever they go on holiday. “It puts the patient in control,” Brown said.