February 10, 2015
Anya Pogharian Invents $500 Dialysis Machine For High School Science Project

A 17-year-old high school student, Anya Pogharian, developed a high school science project which "could end up changing the way dialysis care is delivered," according to a CBC report.

The teen, who hopes her invention will one day be used overseas, poured over dialysis machine owner's manuals over the internet before developing her own prototype utilizing simple technology which cost a mere $500 to develop. Compared to dialysis machines which currently cost around $30,000, Pogharian's is essentially an inexpensive homemade alternative. She said she wanted to find a way to improve the procedure, as it "takes a lot of energy" out of the patients.

"It takes a lot of energy out of them (...) They're very tired after a dialysis treatment. (...) You wouldn't have to make your way to the hospital, which is a problem for a lot of patients. It's not necessarily easy to make your way to the hospital three times a week, especially it you have limited mobility."
Dialysis, a process which is typically used to treat those afflicted with kidney disease, is the process of cleaning waste from the blood. The entire process takes roughly four hours, twice a week. Anya indicated that ten percent of patients residing in India and Pakistan requiring treatment "can't afford it or can't have it in any way."

Pogharian, who spent 300 hours on her new invention, chose to work on the medical contraption after finding inspiration in volunteer work at a hospital's dialysis unit.

While the young inventor has been offered a summer internship by Héma-Québec to test out her new invention with real blood, she's also earned what CBC referred to as a "slew" of awards and scholarships. Louis Thibault, director of applied research at Héma-Québec, said that the entire "population will benefit" from her invention due to the reduced cost of medical care to those requiring dialysis.

"All the population will benefit from that kind of instrument that will reduce medical care cost, hospitalization stays. Basically, it's a great idea."
The dialysis machine's teen inventor said that she's currently focused on doing well on her CEGEP midterm exams.

In related dialysis related news, nephrologist Victor Gura, MD, from the University of California's School of Medicine in Los Angeles, invented a wearable artificial kidney which enables enhanced mobility in patients, as it reduces their time in the chair which improves the quality of their life, according to a Medscape report.

Inquisitr reported back in December of 2014 that undiagnosed kidney disease is a serious threat to those afflicted with type 2 diabetes.

What are your thoughts on Anya's latest dialysis innovation?

[Image via Journal Metro]