More than 90 million people in the European Union, and more than 37 million in the United States suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD), a disease which alters the kidneys’ function and which can have severe implications in health. The early detection and control of this silent disease is essential, since millions of people die prematurely due this disease every year.
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT Health) a EU network created to strengthen the innovation abilities of the EU countries in health, gave a green light to the CKDSens project, a new platform focused on kidney diseases. The project, coordinated by Josep M. Campistol, director-general and nephrologist at Hospital Clinic and professor at the Department of Medicine of the UB, received one of the grants given in the category of innovation projects to present solutions to improve health.
The consortium launching the project is built up by Hospital Clinic de Barcelona, the University of Barcelona, the Eurecat technological center of Catalonia, Genesis Biomed, the Technical University of Madrid, the French center Madopa and CreatSens Health spin-off. They received support from EIT Health –including a 750,000 € aid- to bring the market a kidney diagnosis product. Its commercialization will be carried out by CreatSens Health, the spin-off created at the University Rovira i Virgili.
The project, now under industrialization, will provide a healthcare platform to improve the wellbeing of patients with kidney disease through the monitoring of relevant biochemical parameters obtained from a single blood sample. The device can measure levels of creatinine and potassium, two key biomarkers in the development of CKD. Renal patients are not aware of the seriousness of this disease until they reach a late stage which requires dialysis or a transplant. A proper monitoring of these patients could delay the course of the disease, and pharmacological treatment could delay its development.
The new consortium intends to solve this problem by looking for the right technology. The main challenges are to delay the development of the chronic kidney disease, reduce the waiting time in hospitals, provide a monitoring system lasting less than five minutes, improve the quality of monitoring, increase the life quality of patients and reduce the direct costs of healthcare.
According to Josep M. Campistol, “the CKDSens project will enable the detection and monitoring of the chronic kidney disease and will help improve healthcare and treatment for patients”. Also, the fact that this device is easy to use “will enable the patient to use it at home to keep up with the monitoring of the disease and prevent it from advancing”, concludes the expert.