DaVita taps into Baxter's connected peritoneal dialysis system for home kidney care

The COVID-19 pandemic may have accelerated the push toward home-based treatments, but that’s been a lasting goal for dialysis provider DaVita Kidney Care. Now, the company is gearing up for the long haul with new hardware developed by Baxter.

DaVita is tapping Baxter’s HomeChoice Claria automated peritoneal dialysis system, which received an FDA clearance last November, to grow out its home kidney-care program.

Home care has made up an expanding portion of the portfolio for DaVita, as well as for its major dialysis competitor, Fresenius Medical Care.

Over the course of 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, both companies provided about 14% of their treatments for end-stage renal disease in that setting—up from the national average of 12% in 2018—with Fresenius reporting 37% growth in home hemodialysis alone. 

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Last year also saw the U.S. government expand Medicare payments for the purchase of new dialysis equipment and supplies when used in the home.

Additionally, DaVita’s home care strategy has led it to work with Fresenius in this effort, for the portable hemodialysis hardware the latter picked up through its $1.9 billion acquisition of NxStage Medical. This includes access to Nx2me Connected Health, a digital platform that aims to help people perform hemodialysis on their own, or while they or their care partner are asleep.

Between the two companies, DaVita and Fresenius account for more than 80% of the U.S. dialysis market, with more than 5,000 brick-and-mortar clinic locations across North America.

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Needle-free peritoneal dialysis, meanwhile, is the most popular at-home treatment for replicating natural kidney function, according to DaVita, with the HomeChoice product line for cycling the sterile fluids being the world’s most widely prescribed tool.

The Claria system, for adults and children, is linked to Baxter’s digital ShareSource platform, which also offers remote patient monitoring and can notify clinicians if any issues occur during treatment or if the user strays from their therapy schedule.

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Since its U.S. clearance six months ago, DaVita has begun using the Claria system with more than 250 patients, alongside its own telehealth and home monitoring programs. The device previously received a CE mark in 2015.

"It's critical for healthcare providers to have visibility into accurate adherence and therapy data," Maggie Gellens, a senior medical director at Baxter, said in a statement. "Having more patients on Sharesource-enabled systems can help clinicians respond swiftly to potential problems and reduce the need for extra visits to the clinic.”