Arbor Research Creates Free App to Empower Kidney Disease Patient Self-care

Arbor Research Collaborative for Health, in partnership with NephCure Kidney International and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has created a smartphone-based application to boost self-care by patients with a range of kidney and renal disorders. This tool will empower patients with kidney disease to manage their health conditions while providing opportunities to improve communication with their healthcare providers. The app was developed in collaboration with kidney disease patients, advocates, clinicians, and researchers to ensure that it addresses patient priorities and preferences for managing their health.

Kidney Health Tracker is an easy to use medical diary app that supports management, reminders, and tracking of medical appointments, medications, new symptoms, and health measurements such as urine protein levels, body weight, or even stress levels. It includes a graphing function to display changes in lab values, diet, or symptoms over time. It includes educational resources such as nutritional information and links to relevant news articles.

Patients can view their information on a single timeline, or share it with a medical professional. The app also has an option for multiple users, such as different family members, to access the information on the app across multiple devices. This communication can enhance coordination of care with health providers and assist a patient’s social supports in helping them manage their health conditions.

Funding for this mobile application was provided by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). It was developed by the NephCure Kidney Network (NKN), one of 20 patient-powered research networks within PCORnet(R), the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, an initiative funded by PCORI. 

The Kidney Health Tracker mobile app is now available free of charge on both the Apple Store for use with iOS mobile devices and on Google Play for Android devices. This promotes use by the broader kidney disease community. More than 120 people have tried the app thus far, and we encourage those with an interest in renal health to download and try this new tool.