HHS, American Society of Nephrology launch Phase 2 of KidneyX project

With federal help, ASN seeks to find new technology-enabled innovations for dialysis redesign, through the $1.5 million competition.
By Mike Miliard
04:10 PM

The Kidney Innovation Accelerator, or KidneyX, a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Society of Nephrology, is heading toward the second phase of its KidneyX: Redesign Dialysis competition.

WHY IT MATTERS
The prize competition aims transform kidney care for the 850 million nephrology patients worldwide, specifically with the goal of new strategies or technologies to improve the administration of dialysis.

"Dialysis treatment has not changed substantially since it was first introduced over 60 years ago," explained HHS Chief Technology Officer Ed Simcox in a statement. "The pace of innovation in kidney care is unacceptable. Through KidneyX, we are creating a clear path for disruptive innovation in a $114 billion market."

Phase 2 of the project is looking for new prototype technologies that can replicate normal kidney functions or improve dialysis access, according to HHS, noting that participants may compete in the second phase even if they did not participate in the first phase.

Kidney innovations should address at least one of the following areas, officials sayL blood filtration, electrolyte homeostasis, volume regulation, toxin removal and secretion, filtrate drainage and connectivity, and dialysis access.

Prototypes may be submitted until 5 p.m. ET on January 31, 2020. Up to three winners will each be awarded $500,000. More information is available here.

THE LARGER TREND
HHS points out that more than one in seven American adults are living with kidney disease. For people with kidney failure, the only treatment option other than a transplant is dialysis – which can require 12 hours of being attached to a machine each week and costs Medicare more than $35 billion each year.

"Medicare spends spends more on kidney disease than the entire NASA budget or the entire Department of Commerce," said former HHS CTO Bruce Greenstein in 2018, before Phase 1 of KidneyX was launched. "That one line of expenditure is bigger than the whole NIH, so that gives you a sense of the scale."

Phase 1 of the Redesign Dialysis competition received 165 submissions that ranged from innovations in vascular access and fluid filtration to innovations in hemodialysis and biosensors. The 15 winners each received $75,000.

ON THE RECORD
"We know that building an artificial kidney will be a highly collaborative process, and Redesign Dialysis is driving critical advancements in this space," added HHS KidneyX Program Director Dr. Sandeep Patel. "KidneyX is facilitating collaboration across the National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to create a funding, regulatory, and payment landscape that can support accelerated innovation and investment."

"We were thrilled to see the enthusiastic response to Redesign Dialysis Phase 1 from innovators across a spectrum of disciplines," said KidneyX Steering Committee Chair Dr. John Sedor in a statement. "We're building a strong community dedicated to developing breakthrough solutions that will change outcomes and transform patients' lives."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

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