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The High Cost of Kidney Failure

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Dialysis prolongs the lives of patients with end-stage renal disease, but outcomes are still poor, with a 17% mortality rate in the US. Nephrologists and technology developers want to improve outcomes, but the economics of dialysis have stymied innovation. Medicare tightly controls pricing, and developers are hard-pressed to find therapies that increase clinical benefits but not cost. Recently, two major clinical trials in dialysis hint that the benefits of dialysis, as it's currently performed, are approaching their limits. Start-ups now have the ammunition with which to approach a technologically stagnant market. Small companies, however, face daunting competition: three giant players dominate the market, two of which own 40% of the service centers that provide dialysis therapies.
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