According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with 54,358 deaths in 2021. Additionally, it is projected to become the 5th leading cause of death globally by 2050.
These projections lead us to consider the future of CKD, more specifically what is happening in improving its treatment and management. Below is an overview of some of the areas to keep an eye on as the health care industry looks for innovative approaches to combat its effects.
Researchers and pharmaceutical companies alike are continually looking to develop new medicines to treat CKD. One new class of medications called SGLT2 inhibitors, which was originally designed to treat diabetes, has proven to slow down the progression of CKD.
One such medication, Jardiance, was given FDA approval on September 22, 2023, for the treatment of adults with CKD. The decision adds to the treatment options physicians, including nephrologists, have in treating individuals living with CKD at risk for progression.
Though the FDA approval process has multiple stages and takes time to progress, the approval of new medicine treatments for CKD is one area with brilliant potential to help combat the disease moving forward.
Emerging Technology in CKD Management
Another area with immense potential for improving CKD management is emerging technology. One example of this is the implantable bioartificial kidney, a device being developed to replace the function of a damaged or failed kidney.
The device is designed to be implanted inside the body, eliminating the need for kidney replacement therapy via dialysis or a kidney transplant. Additionally, it would benefit patients with complete mobility and better physiological outcomes than dialysis. However, the device is still under development and has not yet begun clinical trials.
Like the development of new medicine, the process for developing and testing new medical technology requires time and a rigorous FDA approval process. Despite these complexities, this is one area with exciting potential to make huge improvements to disease treatment.
Big Data and Innovative Models in CKD Research
Advancement in Big Data and advanced innovative models is a third area that could make a significant impact in the treatment and management of CKD. More specifically, Big Data and innovative models in CKD research can help establish new biomarkers and treatment targets for the disease. Big data can provide critical information about molecular mechanisms, disease burdens, novel risk factors, and even therapeutic targets.
Bioinformatic approaches are used to gather CKD supporting evidence for targets, including their importance as drivers of the disease. In addition, algorithms facilitating more widespread CKD diagnosis can make a serious impact in identifying people who never complain about having symptoms related to the disease.
In conclusion, CKD is a worldwide health concern that requires extensive ongoing research and innovation to improve its treatment and management. Recent advancements in medication, emerging technologies, and big data and innovative models in CKD research provide hope for better outcomes for individuals living with the disease and the medical community.