A new portable home dialysis device the size of a sewing machine has been launched by a hospital in Stevenage.
In the past, patients requiring dialysis had to have units installed due to their size, but this breakthrough will change the way treatment is given.
The NxStage home haemodialysis machine is just 41ins high by 20ins wide and includes a unit which becomes the dialysate producing plant.
As a result there is no need for the storage of boxes of liquid and instead it offers a simple interface and drop-in cartridge system, without the complex tubing common with dialysis machines.
Lister Hospital is the first to provide the technology, but it is hoped the machines will become common place in other hospitals enabling some of the 20,000 dialysis patients in Britain to receive dialysis at home.
Currently only 1.1% of haemodialysis patients treat themselves at home, but the Government has set a target of 15% of current patients being able to do so.
The number of patients requiring dialysis is expected to reach 40,000 by 2018, which will put more pressure on facilities if patients can only receive treatment in hospital.