In a move that eventually could disrupt the dialysis market, CVS Health recently began a trial for its HemoCare device to determine whether it is more convenient and effective than clinic-based treatment. HemoCare uses an artificial kidney device to simplify dialysis for home-based patients.
The connected health platform will be tested in a study involving 70 patients across multiple clinic sites before the company seeks Food and Drug Administration approval to move to the home market. The move comes just weeks after the Trump administration issued an executive order to improve treatment for end-stage renal disease patients and to educate the public on ways to improve health and wellness and to prevent kidney-related health issues.
CVS Health hopes that HemoCare will enhance kidney care, since clinical research has linked improved patient outcomes with longer treatments provided in the home. The company also is working to bring early detection solutions for kidney disease and provide education and support to help delay the transition to dialysis.
Fresenius Medical Care and DaVita, which currently dominate the dialysis market with more than 5,000 dialysis clinics in the U.S., are certain to closely monitor results of the CVS Health pilot. In late February, Fresenius spent close to $2 billion on its acquisition of NxStage, a maker of home-use dialysis machines and critical care products. The company also said it would plan to convert some of its dialysis clinics into transitional care units to train people for home care. DaVita also offers remote monitoring and telehealth technology to improve the patient care dialysis experience at home.