Today we’re proud to announce that Healthy.io has partnered with the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) in a new effort to raise awareness of kidney disease and improve early detection. As part of this initiative, we’re making testing more convenient than ever before by offering our home albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) urine test kit to thousands of people at risk for kidney disease, free of charge. Eligibility will be determined based on the results of a one-minute quiz created by NKF as part of its “Are You the 33%?” campaign, designed to highlight the fact that one in three American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease, or CKD.
Awareness and early detection are important tools in the fight against CKD because the disease is asymptomatic in its early stages. In fact, even though 37 million adults in the U.S. have kidney disease, nearly 90% are unaware they have it. Our test kits help detect early signs of CKD before any symptoms are present. Discovering kidney disease early allows for interventions that can prevent the disease from progressing to end-stage renal disease or kidney failure, and also reduce cardiovascular complications. Early interventions can also help ease the heavy financial burden of the disease, which accounts for nearly a quarter of all Medicare spending—more than $120 billion annually.
This new initiative comes at an especially critical time in the fight against chronic disease. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people delayed or canceled medical appointments. Healthy.io’s partnership with NKF will enable thousands of Americans to take an ACR test from the safety of their own home, saving them a trip to the lab. Using an albumin and creatinine reagent stick, a patented color board, a smartphone camera and a guiding app, the service utilizes cutting-edge AI and machine learning technology to provide results within minutes.
After completing NKF’s Kidney Risk Quiz, people at a higher risk for CKD can opt to receive a complimentary kit by mail. In addition, they will have access to NKF’s educational materials, which will help them better understand kidney disease and how to discuss it with their healthcare professionals.
Clinical guidelines state that people at risk for CKD, those with diabetes or hypertension, should do an annual ACR test. Yet less than 50% of people with diabetes and less than 10% with hypertension complete the recommended annual test. Improving those numbers requires empowering patients to take control of their own health, by shifting testing to the home and meeting patients where they are. Healthy.io’s at-home test kit has been shown to dramatically raise testing adherence and can help healthcare systems and organizations reach untested populations. In a joint study Healthy.io conducted with NKF and Geisinger in 2019, 71% of previously untested people who opted in used the at-home test kit, and 89% stated they preferred testing at home to lab testing.
Now more than ever, we need to enable more people to screen for conditions like kidney disease from the comfort of home. We’re proud to partner with NKF to help get more people on a path to better health.