KRT Roadmap

Advancing Innovative Kidney Replacement Therapy to Improve Patient Quality of Life

In 2018, the Kidney Health Initiative (KHI) developed this Technology Roadmap for Innovative Approaches to Renal Replacement Therapy to encourage innovations in kidney replacement therapy (KRT) that will impact people living with kidney failure. Stakeholders from throughout the KRT community collaborated to develop the solution strategy and identify research opportunities to develop commercially viable KRT alternatives.

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KHI Kidney Health Initiative

Fast Facts: Kidney Disease and Kidney Replacement Therapy (KRT)

Kidney Diseases

CKD: The Silent Disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is lasting damage to the kidneys that often worsens over time. It occurs when regular kidney function has decreased from Stage 1 (90% function) to Stage 5 (less than 15% function).

  • Affects about 1 in 10 adults worldwide1
  • Affects 14.9% of U.S. adults2
  • Only 10% of those at Stages 1-3 are even aware of their CKD3
  • Projected to be 5th most common cause of years of life lost globally by 20404
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Kidney Diseases

Kidney Failure and KRT

  • Uncontrolled CKD may progress to kidney failure, which requires kidney replacement therapy (KRT)—dialysis therapy or kidney transplantation—to remain alive.
  • Number of new patients diagnosed with kidney failure worldwide increases at a rate of 5-7% annually5
  • By 2030, an estimated 14.5 million people will need KRT, but only 5.4 million will receive it.6
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Kidney Diseases

Limitations of KRT

Transplantation remains the best treatment option yet suitable organs are in short supply. And while dialysis was initially designed as a temporary treatment, it is often the only viable option for patients.

  • 50% of people on dialysis die within 5 years of beginning treatment7
  • 13 people die each day waiting for a kidney transplant8
  • At the end of 2018:9
    • 783,825 patients with kidney failure
    • 554,038 (70.7%) undergoing dialysis
    • 229,887 (29.3%) with a functioning kidney transplant
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A New Paradigm to Overcome Barriers and Improve Quality of Life

The strategy described in the technology roadmap emphasizes parallel development of solutions with varying complexity and time horizons, focused on improving quality of life for people living with kidney failure.

Patient Priorities

A focus on patient priorities

A patient-developed vision of improved quality of life that must drive the development of all future KRT solutions

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Clearly defined barriers that must be overcome

Specific technical and market challenges that must be addressed to deliver meaningful advancements

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Solutions with common design requirements

All solutions, regardless of complexity, meet the same minimum technical expectations

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Research activities with multiple time horizons

Allows for both near-term incremental improvements and longer-term integrated solutions and disruptive breakthroughs

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Research Activities

Collaboration to Ensure Success

Since the introduction of the Technology Roadmap in 2018, strategic programs and initiatives, along with research and technology advances, continue to show how the roadmap is helping to:

  • Foster creativity and innovation to spur advances in KRT
  • Allow funding agencies and reviewers to better assess KRT project proposals
  • Encourage new interest and investment in the KRT field
  • Offer increased treatment options that improve quality of life for those with kidney failure
  • Promote international collaboration efforts
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Contact Us

Partners from within and outside of the biomedical community can inspire and develop the disruptive solutions needed to affect real change for those receiving KRT. Learn how you can get involved.

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