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Philippine AI pivots from kidney disease management to prevention
By Michelle Louise Jose  |  Jul 13, 2022
Philippine AI pivots from kidney disease management to prevention
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Kidney diseases are one of the top causes of hospitalization and death globally, and afflict 10,000 Filipinos each year. COVID-19 has further strained already limited resources for kidney patients and hindered clinicians from scaling their services and care. An AI messaging platform is swinging the response from managing kidney disease to stopping it.

MANILA - Kidney-related diseases are one of the top causes of hospitalization and death globally, with around 1.23 million attributable deaths before the pandemic. In the Philippines, end-stage renal disease is the sixth leading killer among Filipinos. In 2020, during the initial surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) recorded 65,016 hemodialysis sessions and 474 peritoneal dialysis sessions. The pandemic, which is still ongoing, has exacerbated the pain points experienced both by patients suffering from chronic kidney disease and clinicians.

Differing patient challenges

Best patient outcomes for chronic kidney disease are often hindered by several factors, including the high cost of dialysis service, unavailability of dialysis services for patients who live in remote areas, forcing them to travel frequently, having other diseases on top of their renal condition, and, most commonly, the late appearance of symptoms or infections.

Patient behavior also affects their quality of life. Common reasons for this include the burden associated with their disease symptoms, such as muscle cramps and joint pains, the inability to detect early symptoms of infection, and the inability to strictly adhere to their medication therapy regimens and intake of fluids

Patients' emotions can also play a major factor in the success of their management. They feel differently when they are being cared for at home versus when they are physically in the hospital, for example. Dr Donnah De Leon, head of NKTI Peritoneal Dialysis, noted that “patients fear that if they are not in the hospital, they will receive less care.”

Clinician obstacles in kidney care

As a developing country, the Philippines faces many challenges in the d

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