Worldwide, there are more than 2.5 million patients who depend on dialyses. This is a difficult treatment that seriously limits patients in their professional, travel and social life. To make life, in all aspects, much easier, Neokidney (www.neokidney.nl) is developing a compact, Portable Artificial Kidney (PAK), which is commissioned by the Nierstichting (Kidney Foundation).
This device is an innovative appliance that aims to improve the lives of dialysis patients by making it possible to get longer and more frequent dialysis. This will in turn give these patients more mobility and flexibility. Besides that it will also decrease the costs of treatment.
NeoKidney has asked Design Innovation Group to provide support in the development of the PAK which is, in a technical and medical sense, already well advanced. Our design research team engaged in conversations with patients, their partners and healthcare professionals to learn about their experiences and the context in which they live and work.
Based on these interviews DIG prioritised the demands and wishes of kidney patients and their carers, for they play a crucial role in the acceptance and use of a new appliance. The results of the research should help elicit a ‘wow’ response from patients to the introduction of the PAK in the near future.