Approximately 30 million American adults struggle with CKD, but nearly 90% don’t know they have the life-threatening illness. Early intervention can slow the progression of the disease, which can be deadly if not caught in its early stages.
A clinical trial sponsored by The National Kidney Foundation, Geisinger and Healthy.io evaluated smartphone home testing for CKD. Patients with hypertension—a major risk factor for CKD—that had not been tested in the previous 12 months were given an option of using a smartphone urinalysis test at home and the results were impressive. As reported by the sponsors in PRNewsWire, 71% of participants adhered to testing; 98% of patients who attempted a home test succeeded; 89% stated they prefer home testing over testing at the physician’s office. Patients would recommend home testing to friends or colleagues. “Albuminuria is often the earliest sign of kidney disease, and yet, in the majority of people at increased risk due to diabetes or hypertension, it is not tested,” said Kerry Willis, PhD, NKF Chief Scientific Officer. “This new test has the potential to help millions of patients find out they have CKD while there is still time to prevent progression to kidney failure.” The investigators concluded that the use of the mailed, smartphone kits may offer an additional modality to improve compliance with albuminuria screening and may be preferable for some patients.
- Examined the effect of mailed, Healthy.io smartphone urinalysis kits (Dip.io test) to improve detection of albuminuria;
- Randomized 999 non-diabetic patients with hypertension, who were receiving primary care at Geisinger who had never previously completed screening. Patients were randomized into two groups; one group receiving the usual care; and one group who received a mailed Healthy.io urinalysis kit;
- All patients received an educational letter and an electronic lab order for urinalysis to be done at a Geisinger lab;
- Half of the patients (intervention) also were called to ask if they would like to receive a home smartphone urinalysis test; 253 were reached by phone and 69/97 (71.1 percent) of consented patients completed the home test;
- Patients were followed for three months to see if screening was completed; patients with abnormal results from the home test were contacted by the study physicians.
Overall, the intervention increased proteinuria screening completion by (28.9% vs. 18.0%; p<0.001).
- Julie Leddy