“At first I invented for the thrill of it … later it was because my quality of life depended on it.”

Ricardo Agard: Improving Quality of Life
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Ricardo Agard: Improving Quality of Life

Nobody ever said innovation was easy. With the majority of ideas spurring out of necessity, Edison Nation member Ricardo Agard might have hoped that the process was easier to navigate. Inspired by his own blood, sweat, and tears, Ricardo ventured into medical invention after suffering End Stage Kidney Disease two years ago.

“It is inspiring that an idea which came out of hardship could help so many.”

Ricardo performs a treatment known as peritoneal dialysis, or PD. An alternative to hemodialysis, which is performed on machines in hospitals or in-care centers, patients can carry out PD in their own home. While PD allowed him freedom from the hospital and care centers, the process was still too time consuming and felt cumbersome. For Ricardo those two factors were not acceptable, so he set out to invent a series of products to make PD easy and possible in almost any situation.

As he lay in the hospital bed hooked up to the PD ‘delivery tree,’ it dawned on him that he could perform the same function with less of a clinical feel. All he needed to figure out was how to make a sterile, safe connection in almost any environment, and eventually he did.

Ricardo says that his invention, once FDA approved, will make it simple enough to perform PD relatively discretely and almost anywhere: at work, in an airport, or even while riding in a car. "It should also dramatically reduce the risk of peritonitis, a very serious PD-related infection that makes many dialysis patients too fearful to even consider PD as a form of treatment."

With other inventions in the works, all aimed at improving the quality of life for PD patients, Ricardo continues to find inspiration during his daily treatments.

“Kidney disease was trying to bring me down and imprison me. That was all the motivation I needed.”

With two patents pending, Ricardo has learned to be selective in his partnerships. Throughout the process of finding a manufacturer and creating a prototype, he realized the importance of having a shared vision. Ricardo is not alone, as many independent inventors struggle to find reputable developers that have the intention of being true partners and advocates for their ideas.

Learning lessons along the way in trust, partnership and patience, Ricardo has maintained his enthusiasm and tenacity to help people through invention.

Read more stories about independent inventors on Edison Nation.

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