Technology

Since Organ Markets Are a Little Slow in Coming…

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…the good people at UCLA's med school are on the job.

An automated, wearable kidney should be coming to market in the not-too-distant future. This is huge news for people with failing kidneys, who currently have to spend hours at a time hooked up to a stationary dialysis machine, often several days a week. Better still, since this model works 24 hours a day like healthy kidneys do, patients will be getting better treatment in a tinier, more convenient package.

"What's really new about it is the patient's freedom," Martin Roberts, co-designer of the device and an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a dialysis consultant with the Veterans Affairs Los Angeles Healthcare system, said in a university news release. "To me, as the inventor, the most important thing for the patients is their freedom. The next important thing is that because it's working all the time instead of intermittently, you can do a much better job of treating the patient. So we expect the patient to feel better and live longer." 

It would still be nice, though, to legally buy a kidney if yours don't work so well. But don't just take my word for it, ask Drew Carey:

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  1. From my previous comment (reason.com/blog/show/125618.html): I’m pretty sure I already mentioned this, but I’ll soon be offering a satire called something like “Inside Bombay’s Bustling BodyPartsMarket”. Perhaps I’ll make it a condemnation, except the condemnation will be because the government is involved.

    I’m sorry, I’ve been busy, but I’ll try to get that done one of these days. However, it might not be before Reason does it themselves, but seriously.

  2. Holy crap. If you got a little risk capital looking for a place to hang out, this could be a home run.

  3. Any news on the portable liver?

  4. those damn liberals at the ACLU are always trying to….
    what’s that? ohhhhhh UCLA
    never mind

  5. The science here is certainly cool, but….

    KMW, UCLA has a history regarding organ sales. Yes, I know, you’re enthusiastic about the possibility of bringing market forces to bear on organ shortages, and I certainly see the better possibilities on that front. And yes, I know, paying bribes in a tightly regulated market is hardly the same thing as a free market. Still, let’s not ever talk about UCLA and organ markets, OK?

  6. Yeah, that’s great, but it does nothing for the fact that at my age I have to go every 20 minutes, and if I’m drinking beer, every 3 minutes.

  7. What we should be worried about is laws against cybernetically/genetically enchanced limbs for people without disabilities. Real human organs will only be in demand until we start making replacement parts that work even better. Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I think that is coming soon. Wouldn’t want those anti-stem cell social cons banning our fun, nor the anti-Frankenfood kooky hippies either.

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