top of page

Kidney Patients, Care Partners Invited to Submit Ideas and Innovations for National Competition

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, American Society of Nephrology, and the National Kidney Foundation announce new Patient Innovator Challenge

Washington, D.C. – July 11, 2019 – Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and National Kidney Foundation (NKF) announced a new prize competition that seeks to identify ideas and solutions patients and care partners have developed to improve their daily life with kidney disease. The KidneyX Patient Innovator Challenge, funded by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) invites individuals, communities, businesses, institutions, and not-for-profit organizations, among others, to submit ideas on how to improve therapeutic options and quality of life for people living with kidney disease.

“As President Trump launches a historic initiative to advance American kidney health, HHS recognizes that patients living with kidney disease already have ideas and solutions, developed through their own everyday experiences and resourcefulness, which help them live healthier lives.” said Alex Azar, HHS Secretary. “A system that effectively promotes kidney health will put patients at the center and in control, and recognizes that sometimes the best solutions to complex problems lie with the very people we need to help.”

The new Patient Innovator Challenge, which is part of the Kidney Innovation Accelerator (KidneyX)umbrella, will reward kidney patients, care partners, and others who apply for their ideas and innovations on how to solve some of the most frustrating problems facing the kidney community.

Key areas of focus include, but are not limited to, managing side effects of dialysis or transplant treatment, ways to gain patient independence, successful diet and fluid regimens, techniques to increase physical activity, and methods that help sustain family and social life or improve overall quality of life.

“Through this prize competition, we are asking patients and their caregivers, who are directly impacted by kidney diseases, to share innovative approaches to address issues that are most challenging for patients and their families,” said John R. Sedor, MD, FASN, Chair of the KidneyX Steering Committee. “We are looking for approaches or tools that will help people living with kidney diseases have a better quality of life. These projects may improve patient health, relieve troublesome symptoms, ease the burden of kidney replacement therapies, or even reduce the cost of care.”

“We know there are patients and care partners out there who have figured out novel workarounds to help them live their best lives and manage the disease,” said Kevin Longino, CEO of NKF and a kidney transplant patient. “We hope our funding and support of this competition will allow those ideas to be shared with others. Patients have been our focus since we were founded nearly 70 years ago; and we can’t wait to see how these ideas and innovations will impact their lives.”

“As we look to drive and foster innovation in care for kidney diseases, it makes sense to involve the very people who face its unique challenges each and every day,” said Mark E. Rosenberg, MD, FASN, President of ASN. “We value patients’ firsthand insights and creative solutions to improve their quality of life, and the Patient Innovator Challenge seeks to reward them for sharing their ideas and potentially helping others in the kidney disease community who are confronted with similar struggles.”

Submissions will be accepted August 1, 2019, through September 16, 2019, and patients and care partners are highly encouraged to apply to share their best ideas and innovations. Prizes will be awarded to winners in two categories: Category 1: “Solutions in Practice,” which are solutions already tried or put into practice; and Category 2: “New Ideas,” which are solutions that have not yet been created or tried.

Judges will review the submissions and up to 10 winners will be awarded $4,000 each in Category 1, and up to 15 winners will be awarded $2,000 each in Category 2. Category 1 winners will also be invited with all expenses paid to participate in the National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meetings to be held in March 2020. Category 1 winners will present their ideas and innovations to an audience of kidney health professionals, patients, care partners and industry representatives. All winning Category 1 and Category 2 submissions will be featured on For detailed rules and to apply visit:

About Kidney Disease In the United States approximately 37,000,000 adults have kidney disease – and most aren’t aware of it. One in three American adults are at risk for kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history. People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are three times more likely than whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics, to develop end stage renal disease kidney failure.

More than 726,000 Americans have irreversible kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. More than 100,000 Americans begin dialysis each year. Approximately one in five will die within one year, and half within five years. Nearly 100,000 Americans are on the waitlist for a kidney transplant right now. Depending on where a patient lives, the average wait time for a kidney transplant can be three to seven years. In 2016, Medicare fee-for-service spent approximately $114 billion to cover people with kidney disease, representing more than one in five dollars spent by the traditional Medicare program. Learn more about kidney disease and how HHS is advancing kidney health.

About KidneyX The Kidney Innovation Accelerator (KidneyX) is a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN)to accelerate innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases. KidneyX seeks to improve the lives of the 850,000,000 people worldwide currently affected by kidney diseases by accelerating the development of drugs, devices, biologics and other therapies across the spectrum of kidney care including prevention, diagnostics, and treatment.

Building off the success of similar public-private accelerators, KidneyX will engage a community of researchers, innovators, and investors to bring breakthrough therapies to patients through a series of prize competitions. ASN and HHS leaders are overseeing KidneyX's efforts to accelerate the pace of innovation in the development of disruptive approaches to kidney care and the development of new medical products, leading to solutions that will improve the lives of the millions of people worldwide affected by kidney diseases. We hope you will consider joining us in this effort. For more information about KidneyX prize competitions, please visit www.kidneyx.organd follow @Kidney_X on Twitter.

About U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The U.S. Department of Health & 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

About American Society of Nephrology Since 1966, 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 20,000 members representing 131 countries. For more information, please visit or contact the society at 202-640-4660.

About National Kidney Foundation The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF visit:

Like HHS on Facebook, follow HHS on Twitter @HHSgov, and sign up for HHS Email Updates.

22 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page