Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, and one common complication of the condition is a buildup of fluid around the heart. Similarly, renal failure affects 2 million people worldwide, and also causes excess fluid retention in the body. Retaining fluids can cause capillary damage, swelling, breathing difficulties, and mobility problems, and current methods for treating this buildup can have negative side effects. To help solve this pressing issue, AquaPass Medical – founded and led in part by company CTO and Technion alumnus Yaacov Nitzan – has created a suit that comfortably removes fluid buildup from the body.
The Microclimate Suit is a noninvasive, drug-free treatment that facilitates sweating by circulating warm air inside to get rid of excess fluids. It also evaporates secretions instantly, so the wearer is more comfortable and does not feel sweaty. The body’s sweat glands naturally draw fluid from the area that holds excessive fluid buildup caused by disease – the interstitial compartment – so the suit targets the specific areas that experience the most strain.
Studies found that the suit alleviated symptoms of heart failure associated with fluid retention without changing the patient’s blood pressure or kidney function and decreased the wearer’s stress hormone levels by 30-50% over the course of three days. Relieving the excess pressure around the heart and better balancing fluids translates into the heart being able to pump more efficiently and without added restriction. The suit can remove about a liter of fluid within four hours.
The suit could be a huge departure from current methods for removing fluid buildup, which include the use of diuretics to flush the fluid out through the kidneys. Many patients have compromised kidneys so the added strain on the organs can worsen the condition, and those suffering from renal failure are at risk of more complications if they use such medications.
So far, the Microclimate Suit has delivered 150 treatments to more than 30 heart failure patients and may soon be tested on dialysis patients. AquaPass Medical currently has Breakthrough Device Designation from the FDA and has plans to submit the suit for official approval within a few months. They ultimately plan to commercialize it.