Wearable Artificial Kidney (W.A.K.)

The use of dialysis to treat those with poorly functioning kidneys has come a long way since 1943 when Willem Johan Kolff built the first working dialyzer. In the intervening years, improvements have been made as technology and medical science advanced. Still, one of the principal drawbacks to dialysis is that the machinery is still bulky and requires the patient having to undergo the procedure at a hospital or medical clinic. This limitation has been overcome by the pioneering work of Dr. Victor Gura, the internationally known kidney specialist, and internist, with the creation of the Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK™).

The WAK™ is a miniaturized dialysis machine that a patient can wear 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The WAK™ was developed after a decade of research and at a cost of over $30 million. The device has been clinically tested in Europe, and it has the potential to dramatically reduce the costs of treatment for those suffering from kidney disease. The WAK™ can be ergonomically adapted to the patient's body for maximum comfort while being worn. The entire device weighs less than 10 pounds, operates on 9-volt batteries, and uses less than 400 ml of fluid. Compare this to the standard dialysis machine that clocks in at over 300 pounds and uses 120 liters of water. The WAK™ has been designed for continuous use to allow for a far more effective method to remove excess fluids, salt, and toxins from the patient's body.

There are a number of benefits associated with the use of the WAK™ and daily dialysis. These include:

  • Daily dialysis normalizes the blood pressure of dialysis patients, which greatly reduces or even eliminates the need for blood pressure medications
  • Conventional dialysis treatments do not remove enough salt from the body - but daily dialysis does. The accumulation of excess salt in ESRD patients is a common cause of high blood pressure
  • Retaining excess water within the body is a major issue in patients with kidney failure, as they produce little to no urine. This retained fluid accumulates in the lungs causing severe breathing problems. The removal of this fluid through conventional dialysis is uncomfortable and increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. Daily dialysis, as with the WAK™, should alleviate these problems.
  • ESRD patients dialyzed with conventional dialysis are often malnourished, which increases the chance of infection and other complications. Daily dialysis has been shown to eliminate malnutrition in ESRD patients. In human and animal studies, the WAK™ has shown the same biochemical effects as daily dialysis, meaning that it is likely to help eliminate malnutrition.
  • The WAK™ should be a tremendous boon to patients who live in rural areas. The use of this device should help reduce the hardship and cost it would take to travel distances in order to reach dialysis units. 

As stated above, Dr. Gura has used his decades of experience of being a kidney specialist and internist to pioneer the development of the Wearable Artificial Kidney. You can learn more about the WAK™ and its history by visiting the Wearable Artificial Kidney Foundation

 

 

 

Victor Gura, MD

Internist & Nephrologist located in West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, CA

Dr. Victor Gura is a world-renowned board-certified internist and nephrologist serving patients throughout the Beverly Hills, California area. Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases and dialysis technology in addition to internal medicine, Dr. Gura offers patients a comprehensive array of treatment options using the most advanced techniques and approaches to care, including treatment for diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), acute kidney injury (AKI), chronic kidney disease, end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and proteinuria, as well as routine physical exams and preventative medicine aimed at helping patients maintain optimal health at every age and every stage of life.

At his practice in Beverly Hills, California, Dr. Gura provides compassionate, patient-centered care based on each patient's unique needs to help ensure the best possible outcomes. The office is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to provide patients with cutting-edge care in a relaxed setting designed for patient comfort. Every patient receives in-depth information about their care options and their medical condition so they can feel confident about their care throughout treatment.

After earning his medical degree at Universidad De Buenos Aires, Dr. Gura completed an internship at T. Shmea Hospital followed by residencies at Tel Aviv University/Beilinson Hospital and the University of Southern California (USC). With decades of experience in both internal medicine and nephrology, Dr. Gura has an international presence and is the inventor of the revolutionary Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK™), a portable, ergonomically designed dialysis device that enables patients to experience the benefits of daily dialysis while performing their normal, day-to-day routines. The WAK™'s unique design helps eliminate fluid on a regular basis to reduce strain on the kidneys, lungs, and heart while also reducing blood pressure. Plus, the WAK™ reduces or eliminates the risk of malnutrition in patients with an end-stage renal disease, which in turn can help prevent infections and other dangerous side effects of ESRD. The device's contoured profile is designed for patient comfort, and the device weighs less than 10 pounds, making it extremely portable and easy to use. Powered by 9-volt batteries, the WAK™ uses a tiny fraction of the amount of fluid required by conventional dialysis, and because it's portable, it eliminates the need to travel to dialysis centers, which can be especially important for patients in more rural areas.

As a leading nephrologist, Dr. Gura is on staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he provides state-of-the-art care for patients from across the country and around the world. Dr. Gura and his office staff welcome new patients, and the practice accepts most types of major medical insurance including Medicare. The doctor and his staff speak English, Spanish, Hebrew, and Russian.

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Victor Gura, MD

Dr. Victor Gura is a world-renowned board-certified internist and nephrologist serving patients throughout the Beverly Hills, California area. Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases and dialysis technology in addition to internal medicine, Dr. Gura offers patients a comprehensive array of treatment options using the most advanced techniques and approaches to care, including treatment for diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), acute kidney injury (AKI), chronic kidney disease, end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and proteinuria, as well as routine physical exams and preventative medicine aimed at helping patients maintain optimal health at every age and every stage of life.

At his practice in Beverly Hills, California, Dr. Gura provides compassionate, patient-centered care based on each patient's unique needs to help ensure the best possible outcomes. The office is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to provide patients with cutting-edge care in a relaxed setting designed for patient comfort. Every patient receives in-depth information about their care options and their medical condition so they can feel confident about their care throughout treatment.

After earning his medical degree at Universidad De Buenos Aires, Dr. Gura completed an internship at T. Shmea Hospital followed by residencies at Tel Aviv University/Beilinson Hospital and the University of Southern California (USC). With decades of experience in both internal medicine and nephrology, Dr. Gura has an international presence and is the inventor of the revolutionary Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK™), a portable, ergonomically designed dialysis device that enables patients to experience the benefits of daily dialysis while performing their normal, day-to-day routines. The WAK™'s unique design helps eliminate fluid on a regular basis to reduce strain on the kidneys, lungs, and heart while also reducing blood pressure. Plus, the WAK™ reduces or eliminates the risk of malnutrition in patients with an end-stage renal disease, which in turn can help prevent infections and other dangerous side effects of ESRD. The device's contoured profile is designed for patient comfort, and the device weighs less than 10 pounds, making it extremely portable and easy to use. Powered by 9-volt batteries, the WAK™ uses a tiny fraction of the amount of fluid required by conventional dialysis, and because it's portable, it eliminates the need to travel to dialysis centers, which can be especially important for patients in more rural areas.

As a leading nephrologist, Dr. Gura is on staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he provides state-of-the-art care for patients from across the country and around the world. Dr. Gura and his office staff welcome new patients, and the practice accepts most types of major medical insurance including Medicare. The doctor and his staff speak English, Spanish, Hebrew, and Russian.


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In the Press

As an internationally known kidney specialist and Internist, Dr. Victor Gura has appeared on various news programs and in print. His invention of the Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK™), the revolutionary medical device that allows the patient to go about their normal routine while undergoing daily dialysis, has been heavily discussed in the media.

Major technological and business websites have also extensively reported on Dr. Gura and his revolutionary dialysis machine, including The Economist, Medscape, Tech Page One, Gizmodo, UW Today, Popular Science, and Gizmag.

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Victor Gura, MD
50 North La Cienega Boulevard
Suite 310
Beverly Hills, CA 90211