By Will Brady, Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary &
Kristen Honey, Innovator in Residence, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Kidney health innovation is a top priority in 2020 for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The KidneyX Innovation Accelerator (KidneyX) public-private partnership between the HHS Office of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) share this mission: improve the lives of the 850 million people worldwide affected by kidney diseases.
KidneyX drives innovation through kidney-care challenges and prize competitions open to all innovators— patients, caregivers, scientific experts, clinicians, entrepreneurs, healthcare providers, and problem solvers. Together, we are accelerating innovation and co-creating solutions in collaboration with patients, caregivers, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and problem solvers across the spectrum of kidney care. Our KidneyX solver community advances goals and strategies outlined in the Advancing American Kidney Health initiative, while incentivizing innovation for better care of those with kidney diseases.
We are affirming the HHS commitment to KidneyX, amidst leadership changes in the Office of the CTO and on the KidneyX Steering Committee. Let’s delve into some recent accomplishments and ambitious plans that HHS and ASN have for KidneyX in 2020:
- Will Brady, JD, welcomed to the KidneyX Steering Committee. As Senior Advisor to the HHS Secretary and Chief of Staff to the HHS Deputy Secretary, Mr. Brady will provide strategic direction to advance KidneyX. The KidneyX Steering Committee will benefit from Will’s HHS expertise on major initiatives like the Advancing American Kidney Health initiative to promote innovation, value-based care, care-coordination, and regulatory reform.
- Kristen Honey, PhD, joined the KidneyX team. Dr. Honey is the Executive Director of Innovation and Partnerships for the HHS Office of the CTO. She is expanding her portfolio to include KidneyX, which is an exemplar of public-private partnerships and prize/challenges in the HHS open innovation portfolio.
- KidneyX Patient Innovator Challenge winners announced. HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan announced 25 winners of the Patient Innovator Challenge, funded by the National Kidney Foundation, during a virtual plenary session at the National Kidney Foundation’s Spring Clinical Meeting. To quote Deputy Secretary Hargan, “Whether you’re a patient with kidney disease yourself, a health professional who works with kidney patients, a researcher, or involved in supporting kidney patients some other way, I’m grateful for what you do. You, and your dedication to American kidney health, are one of the main reasons I have hope that we can deliver on our shared vision.” Ten of these winners have “solutions in practice” that are already helping people living with kidney diseases. Each received up to $4,000. These winners will also be featured on the KidneyX website, showcased on KidneyX social media, and/or invited to speak at events like the KidneyX Summit. Congratulations to the 25 winners!
- Redesign Dialysis Phase 2 received 70 submissions. We are amazed by the volume and quality of innovations to improve dialysis for those with kidney failure. Winners will be announced in summer 2020 and each winner will receive $500,000 for their winning prototype.
- Telehealth for Kidney Patients. During this time, remote care and telehealth are critical for patients with kidney disease. HHS supports the expanded use of telehealth to ensure everyone has the ability to talk to a healthcare professional safely from home without putting themselves at risk.
- Update of the KHI Technology Roadmap for Innovative Approaches to Renal Replacement Therapy. The KHI Roadmap, originally published in October 2018 will be updated in 2020 to capture the advances and plans for future approaches to improve the quality of life for people with Chronic and End-Stage kidney disease.
- KidneyX Summit 2020. The KidneyX Summit provides an outstanding opportunity for networking and collaboration, as we learned in 2019. However, the wellness of our kidney community is paramount, and the KidneyX Steering Committee is taking the risk of COVID-19 transmission extremely seriously. Our community of KidneyX solvers includes many who are high risk for COVID-19, including people living with kidney disease. The KidneyX Summit will not be held as an in-person event in 2020. KidneyX leadership and staff are working on a plan to connect people virtually. We will announce the Redesign Dialysis Phase 2 winners at the virtual KidneyX Summit 2020 later this year. Join the KidneyX mailing list and check the KidneyX.org events page for updates.
- COVID-19 and KidneyX: All hands on deck! Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, our KidneyX mission is more important than ever. HHS, ASN, and the KidneyX Steering Committee recognize the overwhelming need for innovative solutions to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please visit the CDC’s website on COVID-19 for the most up-to-date information and COVID-19 guidance.
This article was originally published on HHS Office of the Chief Technology Officer blog and is republished here with permission.