A team of scientists has announced that solar power could be used to help cut utility costs and make hemodialysis treatments more environmentally friendly. Publishing their research in an issue of Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN), the researchers point out in their paper that dialysis treatments require substantial amounts of basic utilities such as water and power.
To attempt to address the problem, the research group, including John Agar, Anthony Perkins, and Alwie Tjipto of the Geelong Hospital, Barwon Health in Victoria, Australia set up a solar-assisted dialysis program in southeastern Australia that included four home dialysis machines.
From the announcement:
The researchers found that after the first 12 months of the program, power costs were reduced by 76.5%. They anticipate that in the coming years, the system will turn a profit in addition to generating effectively free power. Therefore, solar-assisted power appears to be feasible and cost-effective, and dialysis services may want to investigate whether they can take similar steps towards greener dialysis.
“Although not all locations, purchasing environments, or local administrations will be suitable or supportive, the twin issues of environmental degradation and climate change demand that simple ecoassessment is made and solutions sought,” the authors wrote. The researchers are also advocate for applying water conservation and improved waste management systems to dialysis programs.
Press release: Dialysis Treatments Go Green
The article titled “Solar-Assisted Hemodialysis” will appear online in Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology on January 19, 2012 (doi: 10.2215/CJN.09810911).
Image credit:: Wellcome Images: Young child connected to a haemodialysis machine