Affinia Healthcare, NKF & Healthy.io Collaborate to Increase Access to Testing for Kidney Disease
Partnership with Affinia Healthcare’s six federally qualified health centers will support those most at-risk for and impacted by undiagnosed CKD
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF), a non-profit health organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease and Healthy.io, the global leader in transforming the smartphone camera into a medical device, today announced as part of their ongoing partnership a collaboration with Affinia Healthcare, a St. Louis-based federally qualified health center (FQHC). The new program offers Affinia Healthcare patients access to the Minuteful Kidney test, the first FDA-cleared smartphone-powered kidney test to support the identification of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Testing for kidney damage among at-risk populations is important for the detection of CKD, a preventable but highly under-diagnosed condition.
The program aims to address the pressing need for increased awareness and identification of CKD through deploying innovative solutions that support communities most in need.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, in Missouri, the impact of CKD is stark, with an estimated 700,000 adults living with CKD while only 84,000 are aware that they have the disease. Alarmingly, fewer than 17% of those at-risk with diabetes and/or hypertension are tested for CKD each year in the state. Providing solutions that enable convenient and accessible testing across under-represented communities is particularly important as CKD disproportionately affects minority communities. For example, Black or African Americans are almost three times more likely, and Hispanics or Latinos are 1.3 times more likely, to have kidney failure compared to White Americans.
Through this collaboration, Affinia Healthcare will provide Healthy.io’s Minuteful Kidney™ test kit to enable patients with diabetes or hypertension who have not been tested in the past few years to check for kidney damage. The at-home test helps patients overcome barriers that existed prior to this technology, like required travel or time off work. Minuteful Kidney is also a proven engagement tool validated to get members back into care, with 84% of users completing a follow-up appointment with their doctor.
“It’s critical we address CKD as more than 37 million adults in the United States are impacted, and of that population, 90% are unaware until it’s too late and are often faced with dialysis or long waiting periods for kidney transplants, ” said Kathleen Davis, an Executive Director from NKF of Missouri. “Part of our roadmap in Missouri is to increase early diagnosis of the disease, which is especially critical in communities disproportionately burdened by CKD. Enabling at-risk patients to test at home removes barriers and enables us to reach even the hardest-to-reach communities – a significant step in the way to lower the number of people living with CKD in the U.S.”
With this partnership, Affinia Healthcare is demonstrating its commitment to securing better health outcomes by increasing access to care and providing patients access to testing where and when they need it. The care teams at Affinia Healthcare will conduct patient follow-up after test completion for those who receive positive results to ensure early intervention to treat CKD as needed.
“We are always looking for accessible, innovative solutions to address limitations to care and to help with patient engagement, especially for our most at-risk populations,” said Takisha Lovelace, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Affinia Healthcare. “Due to systemic barriers, many of our patients are not tested annually as required. Offering them a test that they can take at home, that is easy to use and at no cost, was important to us. By collaborating with the NKF and Healthy.io, we’re aiming for life-changing care for thousands of people by giving them a chance at diagnosis and treatment before it’s too late.”
“We’re proud to offer Minuteful Kidney to the most at-risk populations in Missouri in order to help with early detection of CKD,” said Paula LeClair, U.S. General Manager at Healthy.io. “A disproportionate number of minorities are likely to have kidney failure, and access to care among this population is an even greater challenge that we are working to solve together in Missouri with Affinia Healthcare and NKF. By offering an equitable solution to testing, we will be able to impact lives and communities and improve health results.”