ReCharge Health

Harvard Medical School, 2012 - $16,000

Chronic kidney disease (CKD), or kidney failure, is an increasingly common medical condition characterized by gradually progressing kidney damage and reduced kidney function. CKD is characterized by five stages, with stage I being the earliest and least impactful on patient quality of life, and stage V representing end stage renal disease, which necessitates the initiation of dialysis or kidney transplantation in order to prevent death. As patients progress through the stages of CKD over a period of months to years, they face increasingly complex and stressful self-care tasks, along with challenging care decisions that demand a high level of disease understanding.

This E-Team is developing ReCharge, a web/mobile platform that will provide educational and motivational support to patients at early- to mid-stage kidney failure. ReCharge will profile the educational progress, care beliefs and capacity for self-care for each individual patient. The evolving profiles will then be used to create and update personalized education and counseling programs that support transitions into late stage disease and highlight opportunities to address gaps in self-care to providers. The ultimate goal of ReCharge is to manage the transition to dialysis in order to minimize loss of patient autonomy and dependence on costly in-center care--each patient that successfully adopts home-dialysis will save dialysis providers approximately $13,000 per year.