KidneyX COVID-19 Kidney Care Challenge Seeks Replicable Frontline Solutions

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) launched the KidneyX COVID-19 Kidney Care Challenge. The $300,000 challenge seeks solutions that reduce the transmission of coronavirus among people with kidney disease and/or reduce the risk of kidney damage among people who contract the virus.

The 37 million Americans living with kidney disease are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. And acute kidney injury — sudden loss of kidney function — affects 20-40% of COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive care. The pandemic is exacerbating existing health disparities and social determinants of health, as kidney disease disproportionately affects low-income communities and people of African American, Asian, Hispanic, Latin American, Native American, or Pacific Islander descent. Individuals and organizations on the front lines have responded by quickly developing or adapting solutions for safely delivering kidney care during the pandemic.

“We have accelerated critical healthcare innovation at an unprecedented rate as we race to stop the pandemic’s devastating toll on human lives,” HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan said. “As our knowledge about COVID-19 continues to grow, there is now an opportunity — and need — to disseminate solutions for the benefit of others.”

The COVID-19 Kidney Care Challenge seeks to identify replicable solutions from providers, staff, patients, and caregivers and share them across healthcare communities. KidneyX is particularly interested in demonstrated solutions that consider the patient experience and could be implemented without requiring significant effort, expertise, money, or other resources.

“COVID-19’s heavy impact will be felt for decades to come, drastically intensifying inequities within the American healthcare system,” said KidneyX Steering Committee Chair Dr. John Sedor. “The COVID-19 Kidney Care Challenge, alongside KidneyX’s ongoing work, offers us a way to potentially improve outcomes for patients in the near term — as well as help set innovation roadmaps for the health challenges of the future.”

Round 1 of the challenge is now accepting solutions until December 4, 2020. Round 2 will be open to eligible entrants from Round 1, as well as new eligible entrants who did not enter the first round; the second round will accept solutions from December 9, 2020 to January 20, 2021. The judging panel will recommend winners from both rounds to receive $20,000 each in recognition of their solutions.

Learn more about KidneyX and the COVID-19 Kidney Care Challenge at kidneyx.org.

About KidneyX

The Kidney Innovation Accelerator (KidneyX), a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), is accelerating innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases. KidneyX seeks to improve the lives of people with kidney disease by expediting the development of drugs, devices, biologics, and other therapies across the spectrum of kidney care.

KidneyX has already completed three competitions, awarding $4 million in prizes: the Patient Innovator Challenge and Redesign Dialysis Phase 1 and Phase 2. These competitions sought to improve the quality of life for people with kidney failure by improving current dialysis treatment through innovations that reduce infection risk, improve vascular access, and replace kidney functions. The $10 million Artificial Kidney Prize, a competition to accelerate artificial kidney development toward human clinical trials, is currently accepting Phase 1 submissions until March 21, 2020.

For more information, visit kidneyx.org.

About the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) enhances and protects the health and well-being of all Americans. HHS fulfills that mission by providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. For more information, visit hhs.gov.

About the American Society of Nephrology

Since 1966, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) has been leading the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients. ASN has more than 21,000 members representing 131 countries. For more information, visit asn-online.org.