Baxter (NYSE:BAX) and Ayogo Health Inc. announced today that they are launching the pilot of CKD&Me, a smartphone app that tailors educational content to chronic kidney disease patients’ learning needs, in several nephrology practices across the U.S.
CKD&Me is designed to supplement education programs provided by nephrologists and their teams by offering pre-dialysis education for patients so they can confidently engage in in their kidney care and participate in shared decision-making about their therapy options.
The app also gives the nephrologists insight into the patients’ level of engagement in the education process, along with their values, needs and confidence in therapy selection.
Baxter and Ayogo said the CKD&Me pilot is intended to help them gain insight from patients with diverse backgrounds and learn more about the interactive needs of healthcare providers. The companies expect to use what they learn in its full launch, which is planned for mid-2020.
“Experience tells us there is a gap in kidney care models globally; care should start long before dialysis is necessary, when CKD is diagnosed and steps to educate and empower patients can be taken,” Baxter renal care business GM Laura Angelini said in a news release. “We’re in a unique position to address this gap with digital health tools like CKD&Me, which is designed to help healthcare professionals and patients more closely partner on individualized care to improve outcomes.”
“Our shared goal is to provide patients with tools that are timely, contextually relevant, and personally tailored,” added Ayogo CEO Michael Fergusson. “By meeting patients where they are, by building an understanding of their goals and values, and monitoring the psychosocial factors that influence treatment success, we can provide patients with support that effectively adapts to their individual needs and circumstances.”
The new digital education tool comes amid a Trump administration effort to overhaul the way kidney disease is treated in the U.S. The goal is to increase early detection and emphasize transplants and home hemodialysis instead of in-clinic treatment via executive order.
That initiative seems to have spurred new innovations, with Baxter and Ayogo combining for the CKD&Me pilot, while Fresenius Medical Care North America recently launched a connected health platform called TheHub, which includes three integrated applications meant to enable people on dialysis, their care teams, and health providers to better collaborate. Fresenius officials see the system enhancing remote monitoring for people on home dialysis.