Commentary: Necessity is the mother of invention. Dr. Vũ Duy Hải and his team have developped dialysis equipment at cheaper price in order to provide more access to care for the patient.
The self-regulating kidney dialysis machine created by Dr. Vũ Duy ải from the Hanoi University of Technology and his research team, is believed to help Vietnam save VND700 billion ($ 350 million) a year.
According to the Ministry of Health, about 10,000 Vietnamese patients need to have renal failure treated with hemodialysis with the frequency of three times a week, or 30,000 hemodialysis cases in total a week. It is estimated that for each case of treatment, every patient needs 10 liters of filtration fluid.
This means that healthcare centers need to use 300,000 liters of filtration fluid every week which must be imported under the mode of ready made fluid. The average import price is VND15,000 per liter.
As such, it is estimated that Vietnam has to spend VND4.5 billion a week on the import filtration fluid alone. If it imports the product in powder and then prepares the fluid in Vietnam, the cost price would be VND10,000 per liter.
In order to reduce the treatment costs, some domestic healthcare centers have been preparing the fluid with their methods manually, because there has been no equipment which can automatically prepares the fluid.
Therefore, the information that Vietnam has successfully created a machine that automatically blends filtration fluid for kidney hemodialysis, which allows to save VND5,000 dong per liter, has been applauded by healthcare centers. As such, Vietnam would be able to reduce the treatment cost by VND700 billion dong because it doesn’t need to import filtration fluid any more.
According to Dr. Hai, there is no establishment in Vietnam that manufacturers the equipment to blend filtration fluid automatically. Meanwhile, the imports are expensive and sometimes are not suitable. The equipment created by Hai and associates is believed to settle the problem; therefore it is suitable in the Vietnamese conditions.
Hai said that if successfully generating high capacity automatic filtration fluid blending equipments, the products would be able to provide fluid at the same time to different kidney dialysis systems. The equipment allows mixing fluid in accordance with different formulas which fit different kidney dialysis systems now most popularly used at healthcare centers.
The successful creation and testing of equipment is one of the most important things in the process to improve the kidney disease treatment, which has always been a headache to Vietnam because of the overly high expenses.
The finding by Hai and his colleagues would play a very important role in the government initiated national program on making healthcare equipments domestically in 2011-2015.
If the product invented by the scientists can be utilized in a large scale at healthcare centers, Vietnam would not have to import expensive equipments, thus enabling to reduce the treatment costs and bringing more hopes to the poor patients.
Also according to Dr. Hai, the equipment which has been completely assembled is now running on a trial basis at laboratory. The research teams looks forward to receiving the state’s investment and support to continue the research work and put the equipment into commercial development.
Science reports showed that in 1990-2010, the number of patients suffering from chronic kidney diseases increased by seven percent per annum on average. In 1990, some 426,000 patients had to experience hemodialysis treatment, while the figure soared to 2 million in 2010. In Europe, one in every 10 people suffers from chronic kidney diseases.