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Better Lives With Care.Wallet: Chronic Kidney Disease in Canada

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition wherein the kidneys have been damaged and are unable to filter blood as well as they should. The result of this is a possible build up of excess fluids and waste from improperly treated blood remaining within the body that may result in other health problems, such as stroke and heart disease. Causes of CKD usually include diabetes and specific kidney diseases. According to the Kidney Foundation of Canada data, 1 in 10 Canadians has kidney disease; that’s 4 million people. The number of people living with end-stage kidney disease has grown by 35% since 2009, and currently more than 50,000 Canadians are being treated for kidney failure. In 2018, CKD was the 10th leading cause of death in Canada.

People with CKD may not feel unwell or notice any symptoms in the early stages. A person can lose more than 50% of their kidney function before the firsts symptoms appear. In this case, CKD may only be diagnosed if a patient had a blood or urine test for another reason and the results show a possible problem with your kidneys. At a more advanced stage, symptoms can include: tiredness, swollen ankles, feet or hands, shortness of breath, and blood in the urine. CKD has varying levels of seriousness. As a progressive disease, symptoms can get worse over time, however treatment has been shown to slow progression. If left untreated, CKD can progress to kidney failure and early cardiovascular disease.

There is no cure at the moment for chronic kidney disease. Treatment usually consists of measures to help control symptoms, reduce complications, and slow progression of the disease. Measures include diet, medication, and treatments controlling underlying causes. But when the kidneys are functioning at less than 10-15 percent of normal capacity (end-stage kidney disease) these measures are not enough. Kidneys at this stage cannot keep up with the waste and fluid elimination process on their own and the patient will need dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to survive.

We can configure Care.Wallet to assist patients with CKD to effectively manage and treat their condition. Once CKD is diagnosed, you can help monitor patients’ symptoms within a homecare setting and report critical changes to a doctor using the Care.Wallet. As patients with chronic kidney disease typically need to take a large number of medications, Care.Wallet’s functionalities for prescription and medication management can be an effective tool. Doctors can use the app to make real-time alterations in medication according to changes in the condition. Care.Wallet will remind the patient to take pills at the right time together with providing tips on lifestyle adjustment necessary for increasing treatment effectiveness. With the Care.Circle function, family members can stay updated about the patient’s health situation and have a more active role in the patient’s treatment.

Patients with end-stage kidney disease may need to go to the hospital up to three times per week. In this case Care.Wallet will help them schedule regular appointments and book medical transportation to the facility so they will not have to think about it every time. Patients in the earlier stages of the disease, who do not require in-person visits, can use Care.Wallet to connect with a doctor to have a teleconsulation. Global Telehealth Exchange, one of the Care Networks accessible via Care.Wallet, will provide the opportunity for patients to book a virtual appointment, share medical records and symptoms, receive referrals, and receive e-prescriptions.

Care.Wallet is a true milestone of the blockchain deployment in healthcare that will help millions of people worldwide with access to quality care. Take a look at our previous article Emphysema in Australia.

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