The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded a contract to a KidneyX award winner to provide hemodialysis systems in communities hit by natural disasters. The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has stated it will be prepared to use the systems by the end of this year. The contract was awarded on October 3, 2019, to Outset Medical, one of the winners of the KidneyX Redesign Dialysis Competition.
HHS’s efforts to better address care during and after disasters aligns with ASN’s new Emergency Partnership Initiative (EPI). Launched in recognition of the need for an organized approach to disaster care, the EPI will address gaps in coordination and support of kidney-specific disaster care in the Caribbean and work with U.S. policymakers to review current processes.
EPI partners include dialysis organizations, local leaders, emergency preparedness experts, and disaster relief entities.
According to the company, ”the machine's functionality enables it to serve as a dialysis clinic on wheels. Wireless data, sensor-based automation and an animated touchscreen make the system easy to learn and use."
Outset Medical's CEO, Leslie Trigg, responded to the news: "Disasters tear at the fabric of communities and often require dialysis patients to leave them for extended periods to get treatment. We designed Tablo to be portable, easy to set up, and to only require a standard electrical outlet and clean tap water for patients to get dialysis. HHS is deploying Tablos across the United States so more patients can get local care during disasters. We also have team members who are ready to help on short notice. With a number of studies showing that weather related disasters are increasing, the need for this capability is likely to increase over time. We are extremely proud to partner with the agency and look forward to helping patients in need."