In the news: HHS and ASN are funding the future of dialysis innovation
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) announced last week that they have committed $2.6 million in prize money for the nationwide competition to accelerate innovation in the treatment of kidney failure. According to HHS, the KidneyX: Redesign Dialysis competition “challenges the public to develop better treatment options for patients with kidney failure.” They are looking for innovators who can use new technologies and scientific advancements to “disrupt” and improve the way kidney failure patients are treated.
The American Kidney Fund commends efforts to spark innovation and advance research in treating the more than 30 million Americans living with chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. Today, there are only two treatment options that can sustain life for those with kidney failure: dialysis or transplantation. Dialysis is a costly and time-consuming treatment that affects patients’ ability to maintain steady employment and live normal lives. The number of patients awaiting a kidney transplant far exceeds the number of organs available, and 13 people on the transplant waiting list die each day. New initiatives to improve the care and lives of kidney failure patients, like KidneyX, are vital.
HHS and ASN collaborated with patients, nephrologists, researchers and others in planning the competition. Several agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, are involved in this effort. AKF has provided comments to the KidneyX project, urging a focus on unmet needs and improving patient quality of life.
The KidneyX: Redesign Dialysis competition will have two phases. During phase one (late-October 2018-February 2019), innovators will be asked to come up with ideas to “replicate normal kidney functions and improve patient quality of life.” During phase two (April 2019-January 2020), innovators will be asked to develop prototypes to test their ideas.
The HHS press release detailing the competition can be found here.