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NHS England begins at-home testing for chronic kidney disease

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The Healthy.io early detection device is expected to help detect 1,300 cases of undiagnosed chronic kidney disease (CKD) over the coming months.

 Thousands of patients at risk of developing kidney disease will be able to check their kidney function at home, as part of a new trail launched in West Yorkshire.

The trial will be supported by the £30million Health Technology Adoption and Accelerator Fund, launched by the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England to reduce waiting lists and improve patient care.

An at-home self-testing kit developed by Healthy.io will be sent to 30,000 at-risk individuals, and this is predicted to help detect 1,300 cases of undiagnosed chronic kidney disease (CKD) over the coming months.

For checking the kidney function, the small device is placed in a urine sample and then scan it using an app, which gives immediate results on whether the patient may have a kidney condition. The test results are also instantly uploaded to the patient’s electronic medical record for clinical review.

Another scheme supported by the Fund will benefit hundreds of older adults in Norfolk and Waveney and North East London. They will be provided ‘Feebris kit’ which monitors blood pressure and heart rates, and alert their GP if they have a fall.

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins commented: “We provided £30 million this winter to roll out innovative medical technology to ease pressure on the NHS – and it’s already having an impact.

“This kidney disease device has saved lives and could help to identify thousands more cases – while hundreds of elderly patients will be able to identify health issues more quickly thanks to wearable technology.

“Moving forward, I’m focused on adopting the latest cutting-edge technology to ensure patients can receive faster and simpler care in the comfort of their homes and cut down on unnecessary trips to hospital.”

Other technologies made available to local NHS teams under this funding include BRAVE AI, Docobo and Whzan.

Dr Vin Diwakar, Medical Director for Transformation, said these innovations will not only benefit patients and staff, but also help keep people out of hospitals during the busy winter.

Verena Stocker, Interim Director of Innovation, Research, Life Sciences and Strategy, NHSE, too acknowledges that innovations help relieve pressure and provide early diagnosis, monitoring, and treatments.

“Innovations like those supported by this fund transform individual patient lives as well as bring significant benefits to the UK economy and to society as a whole,” she added.

Fiona Loud, Policy Director of Kidney Care UK, highlighted that about 3.5 million people in the UK have moderate to advanced kidney disease, but many of them are not aware of it.

The number of people with kidney disease is expected to grow significantly over the coming decade “because of an ageing population, increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.”

“Yet detection is much lower than it should be, putting lives at risk and causing unnecessary pressure to the NHS,” Fiona added, while lauding the launch of the at-home kidney testing trail.

The National CKD Audit estimates that seven acute kidney injuries, six cardiovascular events, two ICU admissions and seven deaths could be avoided if 100 patients are prevented from developing moderate to severe CKD through early detection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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