Visible Health App Provides Access to Clinical Practice Guidelines Improves Care for Kidney Disease Patients

The problem: how to globally deliver and operationalize the very latest clinical practice guidelines to improve patient care?

Peer-reviewed, painstakingly researched clinical guidelines based on the latest science take years to develop. They are the gold standard for content by which care is administered. But they don’t need to take years to deliver or operationalize in the field. We also deliver the latest clinical guidelines to physicians across the globe who use them at the point of care to ensure treatment decisions are informed by the best science has to offer. Our work with KDIGO demonstrates this capability.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, many of whom live in far-flung corners of the globe with little or no access to healthcare. But now a physician in Uganda can access the latest clinical practice guidelines as easily as a physician in United States.

A revolutionary new tool provides physicians and patients easy access and operational utility of the latest, most effective clinical practice guidelines to treat CKD patients anywhere in the world. CKD affects about 10 percent of the world’s population, including more than 26 million people in the US, according to the ISN and IFKF.

Historically, the latest clinical practice guidelines for patient care to treat conditions including CKD arrived in hard copy based on peer-reviewed published results of clinical research and trials, which are, by nature, based on data that are years old.

With the arrival devices such as the smartphones and tablets, the latest clinical practice guidelines have become more easily accessible and integrable into workflows for clinicians. But how can physicians and clinicians most effectively utilize the latest guidelines and contextualize them during the patient encounter?

The solution: KDIGO Clinical Practice Guidelines for Kidney Disease iPad app, developed by Visible Health

Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) exists to improve the care and outcomes of kidney disease patients worldwide through the development and implementation of global clinical practice guidelines. It is an independent, volunteer-led, self-managed charity incorporated in Belgium accountable to the public and the patients it serves.

Distributing printed copies of the latest clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of kidney disease is no longer enough. With this app we aim to reach practicing physicians sitting at the bedside with the patient. Guideline recommendations are now just a tap away and available directly at the point of care.

— KDIGO Managing Director Danielle Green

The KDIGO Clinical Practice Guidelines for Kidney Disease iPad app, supported by an educational grant from Shire International, was unveiled at the American Society of Nephrology’s “Kidney Week” meeting in Atlanta in November 2013. The app is available to iPad users free of charge through the Apple App store, and will soon be available on the iPhone and Android platform. Since launch, the app has been downloaded more than 5,000 times, primarily in the United States, the Philippines, and Mexico.

The app provides the latest, most effective information to the physician who needs guidance. And they are now able to find it immediately. The app is a huge step forward.

The physician’s perspective

KDIGO and Visible Health - developers of the app - have accelerated the delivery of clinical practice guidelines to the speed at which they are able to do the most good for all who need them. Dr. Edgar Lerma, a practicing nephrologist and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine & Advocate Christ Medical Center, uses the latest CKD guidelines in his everyday practice and during clinical teaching rounds.

Dr. Lerma uses the KDIGO app an average of three to four times per week.

If I need the latest evidence-based clinical recommendations about anemia management in a patient with chronic kidney disease, I simply open the KDIGO app, enter ‘anemia’ and the app brings highly detailed, current guidelines with appropriate references. Some clinical practice guidelines are updated every few years, and the latest versions are often presented at national meetings, major conferences and in reputable peer-reviewed medical journals. When KDIGO publishes a guideline update, it is pushed into the app almost immediately. We now have the latest publication available. This tool enables me to be entirely confident that what I’m teaching and what I am discussing with patients is up to the minute.

— Dr. Edgar Lerma, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine & Advocate Christ Medical Center

KDIGO Co-Chair Dr. Bertram Kasiske of the University of Minnesota is thrilled with the advance.

Now, for the first time, the voluminous pages of recommendations are in the hands and on the desks of our colleagues everywhere in the world. Providing KDIGO’s work to everyone electronically will greatly enhance our global ability to fulfill our mission of improving outcomes for patients.

— KDIGO Co-Chair Dr. Bertram Kasiske

The next level, winning across the continuum: patients, providers and payers

Delivering the latest clinical practice guidelines not only enables physicians to provide the best care possible given current scientific knowledge, it also enables the healthcare system as a whole to avoid unnecessary tasks and procedures, on which payer reimbursements are based.Combining the latest, best and most efficient care, on a highly individualized basis through technology like those we provide is the next level in mHealth value delivery.

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