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HP licenses inkjet tech for dialysis machines

The hardware manufacturer's inkjet technology is to be used in a new type of dialysis machine for renal-failure victims

HP's printer division has struck a licensing deal with a maker of home dialysis machines.

The deal with Home Dialysis Plus (HD+) will see HP's inkjet technology used to mix water and concentrated dialysate, a mixture of chemicals used to extract toxins and supply electrolytes to the bloodstream. The water and dialysate will be mixed in real-time, then pumped into the dialyser.

According to an HP statement on Friday, mixing the solution in real-time "helps filter toxins over a longer period", and HP's smart memory-chip technology "will ensure that the correct dialysate prescription is being delivered consistently so dialysis can take place while the patient is sleeping".

Michael Baker, chief executive of HD+, said in the statement that the machine would be a "true breakthrough", and HP's technology was "critical to creating a unique patient experience that will offer ease of use, improved patient outcomes and life expectancy".

The deal between the two companies came out of HP's intellectual-property licensing programme, and HD+ expects to get its machine onto the market by the end of 2010.

"HP has many technologies available for licensing that lend themselves well to the health and life-sciences industry, and we will continue to look for opportunities within a variety of markets so that consumers can further benefit from HP inventions," said Kevin Light, HP's vice president of intellectual property and licensing, in the statement.