Notes from StartUp Heath Festival
In many ways, the Office of the CTO embraces startup culture. From its inception, the Office of the CTO has been known asthe place in HHS where ideas are made a reality. That’s why when I had the opportunity to speak onstage at StartUp Health Festival earlier this month, I decided to focus on one of HHS’ most ambitious ideas to date: transforming kidney care. With KidneyX, led by Sandeep Patel, PhD, HHS Open Innovation Manager, we are accelerating kidney innovation. For a variety of reasons, treatment for kidney disease has not changed very much since the 1960’s, when dialysis was first introduced. We need more innovation and investment in this space, and the administration is focused on jump-starting the development of transformational technologies through KidneyX.
Onstage at StartUp Health Festival with Sara Holoubek, Luminary Labs CEO and founder, I discussed the current state of KidneyX and described how President Trump made innovation in the kidney field and development of an artificial kidney through KidneyX a key theme in his recent Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health. Prize competitions, our mechanism for driving innovation, are already underway. Last year we sought ideas on paper to redesign dialysis. Currently we are accepting prototype solutions, or solution components, to redesign dialysis. The three winners of the KidneyX Redesign Dialysis Phase 2 prize competition will receive $500,000 each, and an implicit stamp of approval from HHS and our partners at the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), that their idea and solution is a worthwhile . Our vision is that this spotlight will, among other things, help these innovators secure investment to fully develop and bring their products to patients. Moving forward, KidneyX will launch prizes in other kidney product categories such as prevention, diagnosis, and treatment—including the Artificial Kidney Prize called for in the Executive Order.
Along with Rachel Meyer, ASN Director of Policy and Government Affairs , I met with countless startups during the festival. I encouraged many of them to submit their solution to KidneyX, and to share the need for more innovation in the kidney space with their networks. Kidney innovation is going to require an ecosystem approach that brings perspectives from many industries and disciplines. We need a diversity of parties including patients, their care partners, scientists and researchers from many fields, and investment and industry partners-- including startups -- to give attention to this disease.
Join KidneyX Redesign Dialysis Phase 2. Submit your prototype solution, or components of solutions, that can replicate normal kidney functions. Your solution could improve quality of life for patients. Deadline: January 31, 2020 https://www.kidneyx.org/compete/