Healthy.io has developed a simple at-home test kit to increase adherence to regular chronic kidney disease screening.
Thirty-seven million people in the US are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD), and the cost to the healthcare system annually is about $120 billion. The early stages of CKD are often asymptomatic, which is why regular monitoring is so important. Treating the condition early on offers patients the best chance to slow down or prevent disease progression.
Adherence to an annual urine kidney test for those who have kidney disease is low, with 60% of people missing this test. To make monitoring a more comfortable process, Healthy.io developed an at-home urine test. It has increased test adherence in untested populations to 72% when trialled in Yorkshire, England.
The test kit is delivered to the patient’s home; all they need is a smartphone. The patient is provided with a dipstick for the urine sample. This changes colour depending on the amount of protein detected. The level of protein in the urine is a marker of how well the kidneys are functioning. The user places the dipstick inside the provided colour board and takes a picture with their smartphone. Healthy.io analyses the image and immediately generates the results for a doctor to review – They are directly imported into the electronic health record. Early detection of worsening chronic kidney disease is key to lowering healthcare costs and improving patient outcomes.
“Annual urine tests for chronic kidney disease and diabetes are a key part of what we do in primary care. It’s important to catch any change in kidney function early so we can monitor more closely if we need too or consider medication. While many people have these tests when they come for their annual checks, at-home kits are likely to be increasingly popular as care moves to telemedical approaches and at-home to improve access and convenience. It would be interesting to see how such a test compares in terms of accuracy to traditional lab testing of urine micro-protein levels. What else can we innovate to start doing accurately at home?” – Dr Vinay Shankar