E-health Dialysis: Tele-nephrology as a tool enabling homecare to become standard modality for dialysis care
Managing and taking care of patients with chronic diseases accounts for over 75 percent of the healthcare cost for society in developed countries. One of the most resource demanding diseases is chronic kidney disease, with 10-12 percent of the population showing signs of different stages of this disease. Despite considerable economic and medical advantages home dialysis therapy accounts for less than 25 percent of all dialysis treatments. In Sweden there are about 3000 patients requiring in-center dialysis at the hospital or at specialized clinics, which produce a significant economic burden for the Swedish society, not only related with the direct costs for dialysis treatment itself, especially for healthcare personnel, disposables, and capital costs for buildings and equipment costs, but also involving indirect costs associated with the management of patients such as transportation of patients to and from dialysis facilities three times per week.
Making use of advances in Information and Communication Technologies, medical devices for homecare and Sensorized textile garments for personal healthcare monitoring, this project intends to implement e-health systems that could enable a paradigm shift of the number of patients choosing the available homecare options. The ultimate goal is to make home dialysis therapy (home hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis) the standard modality renal replacement therapy.
Increasing remarkably the proportion of home dialysis in Sweden would have an enormous impact in all aspects of point-of-care of theses chronic kidney disease patients, especially in terms of improved quality of life and reduced therapy costs by saving hundreds of million SEK annually.