BOSTON—Healthy.io, known for transforming the smartphone camera into a medical device, announced the launch of a program with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a research-driven pharmaceutical company, that will support at-home testing and provide educational information for patients at risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Through this collaboration, Boehringer Ingelheim will work with Healthy.io's Minuteful Kidney test kit to explore the operational aspects of an at-home urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR) test kit—the first and only FDA-cleared, smartphone powered at-home ACR test—to at-risk, previously untested patients. This will help engage these patients in their kidney health by conducting a smartphone-powered test at the time and place of their choosing as a step-in screening for earlier identification of CKD.
"Minuteful Kidney is a catalyst to increase ACR testing at scale and support early detection of CKD," said Paula LeClair, U.S. general manager at Healthy.io. "Increasing test-adherence rates across all demographics and socio-economic groups leads to earlier detection of CKD and provides a path to care for those who need it. This is a true win-win—better health outcomes for patients, as well as potentially reduced health care costs."
"Early screening and diagnosis is critical in delaying CKD progression, and may help reduce the potential for serious complications down the road," said Lennart Jungersten, senior vice president of Medicine and Regulatory Affairs, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "By collaborating with Healthy.io, the ultimate goal is to increase testing for CKD so that those impacted can be evaluated for the appropriate care management."
CKD is referred to as a "silent killer" because it often doesn't have symptoms until very late stages. One in three Americans are at risk, including those with diabetes and hypertension. Yet most don't know they have the condition until it progresses to end-stage renal disease (ESRD), eventually requiring dialysis and/or a kidney transplant. According to guideline-based care, people at risk should complete an annual UACR test, yet 80% do not.
Prior Healthy.io programs conducted in collaboration with leading health plans and provider systems have shown that at-home testing with Minuteful Kidney raised testing adherence up to 50% at scale across previously untested populations irrespective of demographic and socioeconomic differences. This is particularly important as chronic, preventable illnesses disproportionately affect people of color. According to the National Kidney Foundation, Black or African American individuals are almost four times more likely, and Hispanics or Latinos are 1.3 times more likely, to have kidney failure compared to white Americans.