Published on in CHOP News
In children with kidney disease, proteinuria is an important marker of kidney damage as well as chronic kidney disease progression. Among the nephrotic syndrome (NS) population, proteinuria testing helps to determine relapse or remission status and dictates further management.
Obtaining a urinalysis is standard of care for all nephrology clinic visits at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and certain patient populations are asked to bring a first morning urine sample from home for testing in clinic. Home urine dipstick testing for proteinuria is standard of care for children with nephrotic syndrome.
Our patients and families currently use the Albustix® urine dipstick test to detect proteinuria at home. The child urinates into a cup and the stick is dipped into the urine. The family can then visually compare the color on the dip stick to the color chart on the Albustix® container. Dip stick results are recorded by the family and given to our team over the phone or in person at a later clinic visit. If parents are not able to interpret the results of the Albustix® test, they must come to clinic to have the results interpreted by our team.
Leveraging technology to provide a clinical grade urinalysis result from testing performed at home could greatly enhance clinical experience and workflows for patients and their providers. Our program is partnering with Healthy.io to test the use of its home-based digital urinalysis kits—the only clinically cleared home urine test equivalent to lab-based devices—to see if the tool offers increased convenience without compromising quality.
The Healthy.io kit includes a urine cup, a testing strip, and a validated color board. The Healthy.io smartphone app guides users through the process step by step. After the testing strip is dipped in the child’s urine, the test strip is laid inside the validated color board, and the app uses the smartphone camera to scan the strip and determine the test results. The results are then automatically sent to the child’s provider and integrated with their existing medical record. The physician reviews the results and either discusses the results with the family by phone or sets up a follow-up appointment. We plan to enroll up to 300 patients who will be studied over the course of roughly 3 months.