Researchers Develop AI to Improve Dialysis

Researchers Develop AI to Improve Dialysis

Artificial intelligence (AI) system has helped scientists design a device to improve dialysis for patients suffering from kidney dysfunctions.

According to a research published on journal Physics of Fluids in October 2017, a team of researchers from the Imperial College London, U.K. used computer modelling techniques to model the unsteady blood flow currents in the veins of patients undergoing dialysis.

When the kidneys seize to function properly, dialysis could prove beneficial in removing waste products and excess fluids form the blood using a machine. In order to do so, it is necessary to form a junction between an artery and vein in the upper arm or wrist of the patient. This junction is called arterio-venous fistulae (AVF). Researchers aimed at suppressing the unsteadiness of blood flow in the AVF by optimizing the shape of the AVF.

To achieve the desired outcome, they adopted a modelling technique used in the aerospace industry, to train a computer using machine learning algorithm. Researchers have developed a device to hold the AVF in shape, preliminary tests of which were conducted on pigs and proved to be successful.

Peter Vincent from Imperial College London, explained that computer simulations were used extensively to study air flow over airplanes. The same technique can now be applied to optimize medical devices such as AVF.

Patients suffering from kidney failure are majorly dependent on AVF procedures for blood purification. However, any dysfunction in the AVF arouses an issue for these patients, resulting in a large number of extra operations.

“This technology offers great promise for these patients. By improving outcomes from AVF surgery, it could potentially reduce the need for repeated operations, which could and lead to better quality dialysis,” said Richard Corbett from Hammersmith Hospital in the UK.

The development of this technology that employs AI demonstrates potential hope for curing patients suffering from kidney dysfunctions and several other conditions in the foreseeable future.

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