Bioimpedance analysis (BIA) works by passing a tiny current through electrodes attached to one’s arms & legs – a little like when a heart tracing (ECG) gets done. Most people do not sense anything different. By looking at the way the current runs from one electrode to the other.
We can work out how much of that person’s body is made up of water, muscle and fat tissue. In other words, it gives a feel for body composition.
The clear applicability is in dialysis, to help measure how much waterloaded someone is; this can help guide fluid removal targets for dialysis staff.
It will take some time to incorporate this system in regular dialysis practice so it sits alongside blood-volume monitoring (BVM) that staff do at present.
Familiarity with the machine is increasing as staff see these devices used in a UK-wide study that we are participating in.