By Bill Peckham
Australia and New Zealand have an initiative called the Australia and New Zealand Horizon Scanning Network that is tasked with to providing advance notice of significant new and emerging technologies. They have a paper posted, a "Prioritising Summary", from last November looking at the NxStage. NxStage System One home dialysis for patients waiting for kidney transplantation (pdf link) concludes that it is a technology to watch:
There wasn't any communication with NxStage that was made to inform the report; it's not clear that reports from the Scanning Network ever amount to anything. What caught my eye was the title phrasing, for patients waiting for kidney transplantation. Are all people on dialysis in Aus/NZ considered to be waiting for kidney transplant? When the report went through the Aus/NZ incidence numbers they didn't parse out those on dialysis not waiting for a transplant vs. those waiting. It's an unusual way to put it.
The report does contain an error in magnitude:
This is the FREEDOM study which will include up to 500 participants at 70 clinical sites. Back to the issue of populating studies - it'll be hard enough to randomize 500 people. 5,000 is not going to happen.
I know many people in Australia would like to have a transportable machine, I don't think this report will make it any more likely to happen. It's a generalist committee writing about a very specific segment of medicine; it's hard for me to see how they can make a useful contribution.