Why the Aquatally Cup Dialysis Study is a Bit of a Joke

January 8, 2016 | By Stu | Filed in: Uncategorized.

Aquatally Cup

So Aquatally,  a company that puts lines on cups and sells them for $12, has conducted a study into the efficacy of their magic cup in helping dialysis patients better manage their Interdialytic Weight Gain

A scientific study

Into a cup

With graphs

Apparently patients using this cup saw an average 0.66 litre drop in their Interdialytic Weight Gain.

Whilst that might sound like a good result, looking at the data, the average fluid gain of patients on the trial before using the Aquatally was 3.96 litres

So this is a drop of around 15%. While any decrease in fluid gains is good for the dialysis patient, I’d be interested to see how this figure panned out over a longer term study when the novelty of clicking the little clicker on the cup wears off.

It should be noted that one of the patients in the trial had Interdialytic Weight Gains on average of 6.7Kg(!) and three patients over 4.9Kg.

Margin for error, weather, exercise and dietary fluctuations could comfortably account for the variations seen.

While the study mentions that dieticians* have taken into account fluid consumed through food when setting fluid restriction levels, there is no evidence that the Aquatally can calculate this fluid intake.

Want a real way to keep on top of your fluid intake between dialysis treatments?

Uncle Stu’s here to help. Follow these simple steps and you’ll never get a nasty surprise upon jumping on the scales at the dialysis unit again.

    Stu’s Method for Keeping Your Fluid Down while on Dialysis

  1. Go to the shops and buy a decent set of digital scales (ones that can measure down to 0.1 Kg). They shouldn’t cost more than about $20 – $30
  2. Just before you leave for your next dialysis appointment, weigh yourself and write down your weight
  3. Don’t drink or eat anything
  4. When you arrive at dialysis, weigh yourself and write down your weight
  5. Calculate the difference between your home scales and the scales at the dialysis unit
  6. Put the scales somewhere in your house you’re always walking through. I put mine in the kitchen
  7. Weigh yourself ALL THE TIME. I probably jump on the scales ten to fifteen times a day (a bit excessive I know). Just had a drink? Weigh yourself. Been out on a hot day? Weigh yourself… you get the picture

Benefits of using this methodology:

  • As stated above – no surprises when you get to the dialysis unit
  • You know how much fluid you’ve taken onboard from food. If you have a big bowl of pasta, a big chunk of watermelon or similar, you’ll know exactly how much fluid you’ve put on
  • You ALWAYS know how much fluid you have on
  • You’d be surprised how much fluid weight you can lose overnight. In the middle of a hot Australian summer, I’ve lost up to a kilo overnight. You’ll instantly know how much you’ve lost and can adjust your intake accordingly
  • You know if you CAN HAVE MORE TO DRINK – You don’t want to turn up to the dialysis unit with zero fluid onboard. What a waste! If you know on the morning of your dialysis treatment that you have only 0.5 Kg onboard, you now know that you can probably allow yourself a second coffee!

*why dieticians are setting fluid restrictions for dialysis patients is a post for another day – renal clinicians should be setting these limits


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2 comments on “Why the Aquatally Cup Dialysis Study is a Bit of a Joke

  1. Simon Dog says:

    The study is flawed because where was no intervention that raised the level of volume awareness without using the silly ring. The “Awareness” of the interventkion, rather than the ring, may have accounted for the 15% improvement.

    • admin says:

      You’re dead right SD. Perhaps the study would have been more interesting if they’d taken the cup away from the subjects and tracked their fluid gains over the next month.

      Or tested against a control group of patients in the same units at the same time

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