The Renal Research Institute will include the Highmark digital assessment suite into its clinical research of people receiving in-center hemodialysis treatment.
TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / June 20, 2022 / Highmark Interactive Inc. (TSXV:HMRK), a global leader in digital health technologies, announces plans for a collaboration with the Renal Research Institute (RRI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE:FMS). Under the planned collaboration, which is in the process of being finalized, a research study will seek to identify potential biomarkers of brain injury, including digital biomarkers from Highmark's digital assessment platform, in maintenance in-center hemodialysis patients with the goal to improve patient care and outcomes.
According to numerous peer-reviewed studies, it is estimated that up to 70% of hemodialysis patients aged 55 years and older can have cognitive impairment that largely goes undiagnosed1. In addition, undiagnosed depression in people with chronic kidney disease can increase the cost of care by 50-80%2,3 and increase the risk of premature death by up to 30%5,6 Highmark's digital platform includes assessments of brain and mental health that are administered by trained professionals as well as remotely completed by patients between point of care visits.
"We are excited to collaborate with the Renal Research Institute on an important clinical care management issue that if successful, may help improve the quality of life for a lot of people globally,'' says Dr. Sanjeev Sharma, CEO of Highmark. "Our digital assessment platform collects unique digital biomarkers in a manner that is easy and engaging for patients while also providing important insights about their neurofunction to health providers. We hope that this collaboration will help better determine the relationship between hemodialysis and the brain in order to hopefully optimize clinical decision making and improve patient outcomes."
Digital biomarkers are defined as objective, quantifiable, physiological and behavioral data that are collected and measured by means of digital devices, whereas traditional biomarkers include genes, molecules, or cells. Alongside traditional biomarkers including blood and advanced neuroimaging, the Highmark software suite will provide digital assessments at the start and end of study as well as longitudinally throughout the study leveraging its remote monitoring assessments.
If digital biomarkers from Highmark's assessment platform are associated with brain injury in hemodialysis patients, these could be measured routinely with the aim to improve clinical management. At any given time, there are approximately two million patients receiving maintenance in-center hemodialysis globally with ~500,000 in the United States alone.
- Murray AM et al, Cognitive Impairment in the Aging Dialysis and chronic kidney disease populations, an occult burden, Advanced Chronic Kidney Disease, 2008.
- Melek S, Norris D. Chronic Conditions and Comorbid Psychological Disorders. Seattle, WA: Milliman; 2008.
- Melek SP, Norris DT, Paulus J. Economic Impact of Integrated Medical-Behavioral Healthcare. Seattle, WA: Milliman; 2014.
- Hedayati et al, JAMA, May 19, 2010-Vol 303, No. 19.
- Hedayati et al, Kidney International (2012) 81, 247-255.
About Highmark Interactive
Highmark Interactive was created to change the paradigm of testing and management for brain and mental health. Highmark's approach is focused on providing real-time data to health providers to support proactive, preventative interventions and targeted care planning to improve health outcomes.
In addition to a growing network of virtual, in-person and hybrid clinics, Highmark Interactive offers the world's first gamified, FDA cleared patient-led assessments as well as digital clinician-led assessments of neurofunction and balance. Together, the technology is used in more than 350 health organizations globally.
By unlocking insights, Highmark's platform enables precision medicine and creates a more contemporary model for delivering better outcomes in medical, mental health and rehabilitation services.
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Forward-looking statements in this news release include, among other things, statements relating to plans for collaboration with the Renal Research Institute, the prevalence of undiagnosed cognitive impairment, the costs and increased risk of premature death associated with undiagnosed depression in people with chronic kidney disease, and the Corporation's business generally.
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SOURCE: Highmark Interactive Inc.