Treating patients with renal diseases has come a long way in recent years, giving people around the world a better quality of life and a longer life expectancy. Fresenius Medical Care has been with them every step of the way. Our unwavering focus on innovation has made us the technology and market leader, because pushing the boundaries for more patient health and safety is the passion of every employee. Below are the important milestones that made Fresenius Medical Care what we are today.
Production of the 2-billionth dialyzer – just seven years after the production of the 1-billionth.
Starting with a vision
In 1996, the bold vision to provide better care for dialysis patients around the world took shape when Fresenius Worldwide Dialysis merged with the US dialysis specialist National Medical Care. The new company listed its shares on the New York and Frankfurt stock exchanges. Within three years, the 100,000th dialysis machine made by Fresenius Medical Care rolled off the production line in Schweinfurt, and the company’s stock became part of Germany’s DAX-30.
Becoming the technology leader
Innovation has always been at the core of Fresenius Medical Care. The company introduced the first polysulfone filter back in 1983, and saw the technology become the industry standard. In the following years, it fine-tuned the three key components of a dialysis system. The blood filter (dialyzer), the pump, and the balancing chamber need to work in perfect harmony to ensure a safe and reliable withdrawal of blood. Mastering this complex process made Fresenius Medical Care the undisputed technology leader for hemodialysis equipment.
Milestones in innovation
The international response to the company’s 4008 series was overwhelming, inspiring the company to keep innovating its dialyzers and dialysis machines. The introduction of the 5008 therapy system in 2005 was another milestone as it delivered significant benefits for patients and increased their survival rate by one-third.
Becoming the market leader
Continuous improvement of dialysis equipment paved the way for market leadership. By 2003, Fresenius Medical Care was treating well over 100,000 patients a year. By 2012, half a million dialysis machines had come off the production line. One of the secrets of ongoing success is our vertical integration that combines the know-how for hardware, software and related services and treatments in-house.
Giving every patient a better quality of life and a longer life expectancy fuels innovation at Fresenius Medical Care. Case in point: the 6008 CAREsystem, a new hemodialysis therapy system, introduced in 2016. It consists of 8,000 components that work together to reproduce normal kidney function with precision, ensuring each system performs around 5,000 hours a year over an average service life of a decade or longer.
Focus on home dialysis options
Increasedpatient health and safety are also the drivers for providing advanced home dialysis options. The journey began in 2014 with the launch of a new generation of home peritoneal dialysis cyclers. The sleep-safe harmony system provided the most individualized treatment options at home. The acquisition of NxStage Medical, Inc. in 2019 has allowed Fresenius Medical Care to expand its home hemodialysis portfolio with another innovative technology that gives home dialysis patients more flexibility. In 2020, we provided more than 14 percent of our dialysis treatments in the U.S. in a home setting, and we are on track to meet our 2022 goal of delivering more than 15 percent of dialysis treatments in the U.S. at home.