FAQs: AKF’s new partnership with Backpack Health

Anyone who has dealt with kidney disease knows how challenging it can be to keep track of medical records from multiple specialists and medical facilities. The American Kidney Fund (AKF) recently announced a new partnership with Backpack Health, a service of Konica Minolta, a digital health records management tool. If you need a better way to manage your health records, this tool could be the solution.

Through AKF’s group on Backpack Health, you can consolidate all your health information, including lab results and medicines, into one convenient, private and secure cloud-based location. The name Backpack refers to how you can keep all your records together in one place and take it with you, just like a real backpack, to all your doctors’ appointments.

AKF’s group on Backpack Health is the first of its kind for the kidney community, so it is likely that you have never used the tool before. We have provided answers to some FAQs to help you get started:

What is Backpack Health and how do I use the group?

Backpack Health is a place where you can store your medical records. People with kidney disease usually have multiple other conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and are typically under the care of many doctors and specialists. We know that keeping track of everything can feel like a full-time job. That is where the AKF Backpack Health group comes in.

You can upload your health information to the platform, so you can have easy access to it whenever and wherever you need it. Things you can add to your Backpack Health profile include lab results, kidney-friendly meal plans, doctors’ notes, prescriptions and more. Your Backpack Health profile can be accessed via their website or mobile app, meaning you can get rid of those bulky binders and file folders you lug with you between doctors’ appointments.

Your health information can be easily shared with your caregiver(s), other family members, a travel partner if you are going on a trip and others. You can share information with all your doctors, so you do not have to make or pay for copies of medical your records. Your doctors can also update your records right in the platform, and they will be able to see the notes from your appointments or lab work with another doctor, which can help all the members of your care team better treat you. If you are a parent caring for a child with kidney disease, you can create a profile for them, which can be shared with the school nurse, babysitters and others who watch or care for your child.

If you want to discuss your labs more thoroughly with your nephrologist at your next appointment, you can make a reminder note for yourself in your Backpack Health profile. If you have a question about whether you can eat a certain food, you can add it to your profile so you do not forget to ask your dietitian next time you see them. The Backpack Health technology exists to help make your life easier.

You can watch this short video on how to get started.

How do I join AKF’s group?

You can join the AKF kidney disease group on Backpack Health at join.backpackhealth.com/akf.

How much does it cost?

Absolutely nothing. The AKF kidney disease group on Backpack Health is open for anyone to opt-in and is completely free to use.

Is my information secure?

As Backpack explains on their website: “All of the information you store on Backpack Health is encrypted. Information stored in the cloud is encrypted in our database, and 256-bit encryption protects data sent over the network and secure HTTP (HTTPS) sessions. Threat-detection services monitor Backpack Health’s systems continuously for unauthorized or malicious activity. And you can also keep your data extra safe on all of your devices by enabling two-factor authentication.”

You can learn more about Backpack Health’s account security and privacy policy here.

What if I don’t want to upload all my health information?

You are in control. You decide what information you want stored in your Backpack Health profile, and when you share it with others, you decide which records to share. No one has to see your full medical history if you do not want them to.

What if English is not my first language?

Backpack Health can easily translate your information into multiple languages, which can remove potential language barriers between you and your care team.

What else can I do in the AKF group besides manage my medical records?

Members of the AKF Backpack Health group will be able to access AKF’s award-winning educational content about kidney disease, participate in surveys to help us identify unmet needs of kidney patients, and learn about opportunities to participate in clinical trials.

What if I need help?

You can contact Backpack Health through the “Contact Us” option in the mobile app or on their website, or simply email help@backpackhealth.com.

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About the Author(s)

Elissa Blattman

Elissa Blattman is the associate director of communications at the American Kidney Fund.

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