One of the lasting impacts on health care during the COVID-19 pandemic may be a renewed interest in home-based treatment.
Medicine has advanced to the point where people with vital organ failure may be able to receive treatment from the comfort of their homes. This is evident in the treatment of kidney disease, which impacts 1 in 7 adults in the United States. Of the 500,000 people in the U.S. who have progressed to kidney failure and require dialysis or a transplant to sustain life, a growing number are choosing to treat at home.
Home dialysis isn’t new, but recent policy shifts, investments and technological advancements have accelerated patient adoption rates to record levels. In fact, DaVita Kidney Care’s home dialysis program is growing at five times the rate of its in-center operations. Approximately 28,000 DaVita patients have selected home dialysis as their treatment.
Potential Benefits of Home Dialysis
There are two types of home dialysis. Peritoneal dialysis is a needle-free treatment that can be performed during the day or overnight by using the lining of the abdomen to filter waste from the blood. Home hemodialysis works much like in-center hemodialysis but is performed using a smaller, more user-friendly machine and with the support of a care partner as needed.
Home dialysis may offer eligible patients many benefits, including more freedom and control over their care. The treatment is also associated with shorter recovery times1, improved outcomes, lower hospitalization rates and greater kidney transplant success rates2.
Kidney failure is a complex, chronic condition. Treating the disease at home is not without some challenges that may be overcome. DaVita has developed a comprehensive platform grounded in more than two decades of research, innovation and education to help home dialysis patients safely treat with confidence and the support they need.
One of the most important things for home dialysis patients to remember is that they are never alone. In addition to a care partner, if needed, they have the continuous support of their care team and access to connective technologies designed to closely monitor their dialysis care. These technologies include:
- Telehealth. COVID-19 has spotlighted the need for virtual health connections. Its effects are likely here to stay. The DaVita® Care Connect app, launched in 2019, connects patients with their care teams without having to drive to an appointment. It supports multi-way video visits, customized education, secured messaging, appointment reminders and image sharing from patients to their care teams.
- Home remote monitoring. Using Bluetooth-enabled devices, home patients transmit vital health data to their care teams. The data is risk-stratified to help clinicians monitor potential outcome-impacting events.
- Artificial intelligence/Predictive analytics. DaVita has built predictive models using over a billion data points to help identify patients who are at higher risk of hospitalization events, which often lead patients to leave home dialysis. Predictions built into center workflows allow nurses and care teams to intervene when necessary to help avoid hospitalizations and keep patients on their home modality of choice.
1. PD: Burkart J and Golper T. www.uptodate.com. Patient information: Peritoneal dialysis (Beyond the Basics). HHD: Galland R et al. Kidney International. 2001;60:155-1560.
2. PD: Molnar, MZ et al. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 7: 332–341, 2012. HHD: Weinhandl, E et al. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2012 May; 23(5):895–904.Bringing Dialysis Treatment Home