March 9th is World Kidney Day – a day dedicated to raising awareness about kidney health and promoting the importance of early detection and treatment of kidney disease. World Kidney Day was first observed in 2006, and since then, it has become an important event for health organizations, medical professionals, and communities around the world.
The kidneys are two small organs located in the lower back that are responsible for filtering waste and excess fluid from the blood. They also help regulate blood pressure, produce hormones, and control the production of red blood cells. However, many people are not aware of the importance of their kidneys until they start experiencing symptoms of kidney disease, which can include fatigue, swelling, and changes in urine output.
Kidney disease is a serious health condition that affects 850 million people worldwide. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including diabetes, high blood pressure, infections, and genetic disorders. If left untreated, kidney disease can progress to kidney failure, which can be life-threatening.
Patients who progress from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) to End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) require weekly dialysis treatments which further complicate managing their condition. Unfortunately, the treatment and management of ESKD has remained stagnant for far too long and desperately needs a fresh approach and perspective. Enter Alio – a remote patient monitoring platform that makes it possible for patients on dialysis to gain insight into their condition in between their clinic visits and monthly blood draws.
Despite only making up 1% of the Medicare population, dialysis patients account for 7% of Medicare spend. This may beg the question – why? That difference is accounted for in avoidable hospitalizations due to common complications of the condition like dyskalemia, fluid overload, and a compromised fistula. The Alio SmartPatch was created with these adverse health events in mind – to help those on dialysis feel more empowered by non-invasively monitoring their condition and delivering clinical-grade insights to their care teams. The Alio portal delivers actionable alerts to care teams when their metrics deviate from a pre-set range.
Fortunately, there are steps that individuals can take to help protect their kidney health long before reaching CKD or ESKD. These steps include maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, staying hydrated, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. It is also important to have regular check-ups with a healthcare provider, especially if you have a family history of kidney disease or are at risk for other health conditions that can impact kidney function.
As one Alio Patient and Family Advisory Council member, Tamara Walker put it, “World Kidney Day means that we, along with the entire kidney community, are able to reach out to the world and educate others about kidney disease. We’re able to share the risk factors, prevention tips, how to live while experiencing kidney disease, and share our own personal kidney disease & transplant stories. We should make a plea to ALL to be checked for kidney disease and lastly to spread the facts about these very important organs. We are able to make a difference simply by sharing!”
By raising awareness about kidney health and encouraging individuals to take proactive steps to protect their kidneys, World Kidney Day can help reduce the burden of kidney disease and improve the overall health and well-being of individuals and communities around the world. So, take the time to learn more about your kidney health, and join the global effort to promote kidney health on World Kidney Day and beyond.