Renal Health: Providing Information and Technological Tools to Empower Patients to Live Better with Kidney Disease

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2021 May 27;281:674-678. doi: 10.3233/SHTI210257.

ABSTRACT

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing Public Health problem. Recent evidence points that low education and poor socio-economic conditions are associated with higher risk of developing CKD and progressing to dialysis or transplantation need. Hence patient empowerment through health education and qualification with technological tools that allows better treatment adherence may play an important role in the achievement of optimal clinical outcomes. The Renal Health is a multidisciplinary project created at the University of Fortaleza, northeast Brazil, in 2015, aiming to create novel educational material and technological tools for people with CKD, in different treatment modalities, including dialysis and transplant. The products developed so far in the project include an application for smartphones aiming to help patients in dialysis and transplant in their treatments, including schedule for medications, with alarms, water ingestion control, laboratory tests results, and medical appointments’ agenda, besides all information regarding CKD. The other tools include a medication box, an insole for weight control (both are in the prototype phase), connection with smartbands (for vital signs monitoring) and multimedia educational tools, including a profile in the Instagram and a channel in YouTube. Since the first release of the application in the virtual stores, there were more than 1,000 downloads, predominantly in Brazil, although the app is also available in English and Spanish. All these tools represent innovative ways of patient empowerment and may be increasingly present in daily life. Further studies are required to assess the impact of these tools in patients’ outcomes, including CKD progression and mortality.

PMID:34042661 | DOI:10.3233/SHTI210257

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