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Medtech Impact on Wellness

Dr. John Knight helped oversee a global competition to produce a more affordable dialysis system.

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He discusses

  • Challenges that face users of dialysis, including the exorbitant cost that makes members of poorer countries more vulnerable to kidney disease deaths,
  • The competition The George Institute set up to find a more cost-effective alternative, and 
  • The innovative result and how it may help people across the globe.

Dr. John Knight is a Professorial Fellow of the Renal and Metabolic Division and Professor of Medicine at UNSW Sydney and is Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics and Child health at their Children’s Hospital.

He was in private practice for several years focusing on pediatric chronic kidney disease. He recently joined a non-profit medical research group called The George Institute for Global Health in Sydney. 

He describes their focus on questions about kidney treatment around the world including dialysis complications and chronic kidney disease: dialysis is highly successful but highly expensive. In most western countries, the community picks up the cost through taxes.

The rest of the world can’t afford that and many die from their kidney disease instead of receiving dialysis.

Around 10 million world-wide need dialysis but only about 2.6 million are able to get it.

Knight describes the global competition called the Affordable Dialysis Prize, which The George Institute organized with the following terms: inventors should invent a low cost dialysis that uses solar power, is portable, can purify water from any source, and costs less than $1000 to manufacture.

Dr. Knight tells listeners about the winner, about the group called Ellen Medical Devices Party, Ltd.

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, he created to manufacture it, and describes the next phase of making it available worldwide to address dialysis complications and chronic kidney disease.

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