LIVING

Montreal Teen Anya Pogharian Creates Potentially Life-Changing Dialysis Machine

02/12/2015 11:56 EST | Updated 02/19/2015 01:59 EST

A Montreal teenager might have just come up with an invention that could save countless lives around the world.

As she explains in the video above, Anya Pogharian, 17, submitted a do-it-yourself dialysis machine — which costs $500 to make, vs. the usual $30,000 per machine — as an entry to Google Science Fair 2014.

Dialysis is "a treatment for kidney failure that removes waste and extra fluid from the blood, using a filter," says the National Kidney Center. It's used when the kidneys are failing the body, as in the case of diabetes, high blood pressure or glomerulonephritis (chronic inflammation of the kidneys), explains the National Health Service, and can take about four hours per session.

Pogharian, who volunteers at a hospital dialysis unit, saw firsthand how much energy it took for patients to get to their appointments multiple times a week, she told the CBC. The machine she created could instead be used at home.

As Mother Nature Network reports, Pogharian developed the machine by reading online manuals of kidney dialysis machines. She's now received a summer internship from Héma-Québec, an organization that manages the province's blood supply, among other biological products, and will be able to test out her prototype in a lab.

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