Siemens and NKF enter strategic alliance to improve kidney disease screening
Tarrytown, NY (April 9, 2014) – Siemens Healthcare and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) announced today a new strategic alliance focusing on education, awareness and screening for kidney disease in high-risk individuals. This important collaboration will leverage the latest testing recommendations from the NKF to improve detection among the 73 million Americans at risk for kidney disease.
Research published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases estimates that nearly 6 out of 10 Americans1 will develop kidney disease in their lifetime. As a result of this and previous studies, the NKF recommends that healthcare professionals screen for kidney disease by adding a simple urine albumin test to the annual physical examination of high-risk individuals. People are considered high risk if they are age 60 or older, have high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of kidney failure. The evidence-based recommendations generated by leaders like the NKF provide key direction for diagnostic manufacturers like Siemens that aim to develop and provide the proper diagnostic tests to improve patient health.
In order to accelerate and expand the awareness of these new findings and recommendations, the NKF has entered into a strategic alliance with Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, the leader in urinalysis testing, for the development and distribution of educational materials for both professionals and patients. The primary focus of the Siemens and NKF alliance will be to increase awareness of the importance of albumin-to-creatinine ratio testing2 in high-risk individuals, with the ultimate goal of improving diagnosis and identifying kidney disease early in its course. This highly collaborative relationship brings together two leading organizations with clinical and diagnostic expertise that will help put the new clinical recommendations into practice. The Siemens and NKF alliance will be an ongoing collaboration and will be rolled out over the coming calendar year.
"Siemens is passionate about chronic disease management and preventative care because we truly believe it will reduce the overall cost of healthcare," said Dr. David Stein, CEO, Point of Care (POC) Business Unit, Siemens Healthcare, Diagnostics Division. "We have long admired the tireless work of the NKF and this collaboration will not only strengthen our efforts to improve the level of screening for kidney disease, but also help to give clinicians critical tools they need to improve diagnoses. Together, we can elevate the discussion about the risks and prevalence of kidney disease, the importance of early detection, and the tools we have to combat the disease so that ultimately, we can help keep people out of the hospital."
Chronic kidney disease is widespread, costing Medicare upwards of $41 billion annually, but awareness and understanding about kidney disease is critically low. An estimated 26 million Americans already have chronic kidney disease, and surprisingly, even among those with severe (stage 4) kidney disease, fewer than half realize that they have damaged kidneys.3
"Research shows clearly that many Americans are at risk for developing kidney disease, which - in its later stages - can be physically devastating and financially overwhelming," said Dr. Beth Piraino, President of the National Kidney Foundation. "Importantly, if caught early, the progression of kidney disease can be slowed with lifestyle changes and medications. This underscores the importance of annual screenings, especially within the at-risk population, to potentially prevent kidney disease and ensure every patient with kidney disease receives optimal care. We look forward to working with Siemens, one of the healthcare industry's diagnostic leaders, to reinforce this message."
In albumin-to-creatinine ratio testing, the amount of the protein, albumin, is compared to the amount of creatinine, a waste product, in the urine sample. This helps determine if the body is excreting albumin at an increased rate, which may be a sign of kidney disease.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families and tens of millions of Americans at risk.
Through strategic community and corporate alliances, the NKF is working to raise awareness through messaging that will reach the 73 million Americans at risk for kidney disease. The NKF provides resources and services which offer early intervention and treatment solutions, which includes equipping primary care practitioners with the latest screening and management information, so the progression of kidney disease can be prevented or delayed. For more information, visit www.kidney.org.
The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world's largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens offers its customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source - from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 52,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world. In fiscal year 2013 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 13.6 billion euros and profit of 2.0 billion euros. For further information please visit: www.siemens.com/healthcare.