Dialysis resource allocation in critical care: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the promise of big data analytics

Front Nephrol. 2023 Oct 26:3:1266967. doi: 10.3389/fneph.2023.1266967. eCollection 2023.


The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an unprecedented burden on intensive care units (ICUs). With increased demands and limited supply, critical care resources, including dialysis machines, became scarce, leading to the undertaking of value-based cost-effectiveness analyses and the rationing of resources to deliver patient care of the highest quality. A high proportion of COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU required dialysis, resulting in a major burden on resources such as dialysis machines, nursing staff, technicians, and consumables such as dialysis filters and solutions and anticoagulation medications. Artificial intelligence (AI)-based big data analytics are now being utilized in multiple data-driven healthcare services, including the optimization of healthcare system utilization. Numerous factors can impact dialysis resource allocation to critically ill patients, especially during public health emergencies, but currently, resource allocation is determined using a small number of traditional factors. Smart analytics that take into account all the relevant healthcare information in the hospital system and patient outcomes can lead to improved resource allocation, cost-effectiveness, and quality of care. In this review, we discuss dialysis resource utilization in critical care, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how AI can improve resource utilization in future public health emergencies. Research in this area should be an important priority.

Keywords: COVID-19; artificial intelligence; big data; critical care; dialysis; machine learning; resource deployment.

Publication types

  • Review