COVID-19 Kidney Care Challenge

The $300,000 KidneyX COVID-19 Kidney Care Challenge seeks solutions that reduce the transmission of the coronavirus among people living with kidney disease and/or reduce the risk of kidney damage among people who contract the virus. Have you developed a solution that could benefit others?

Challenge overview

Reducing the risk due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique challenges for the estimated 37 million Americans living with kidney disease — as well as their caregivers and healthcare practitioners. Several groups are at particularly high risk: those who receive in-center dialysis treatments and are unable to self-isolate; those with a kidney transplant, who are likely taking immunosuppression drugs; those with acute kidney injury; and those with chronic kidney disease. There is also growing evidence that COVID-19 can lead to kidney damage, even among patients with no previous kidney problems. Given that a disproportionate number of people living with kidney disease are of African American, Asian, Hispanic, Latin American, Native American, or Pacific Islander descent, the pandemic is also worsening existing health disparities and social determinants of health. Patients, caregivers, frontline staff, and organizations have quickly responded by developing or adapting solutions for safely delivering kidney care during the pandemic. The COVID-19 Kidney Care Challenge aims to identify and share the best of these solutions so that other patients, caregivers, and staff can benefit from them.

Seeking a broad range of replicable solutions

The COVID-19 Kidney Care Challenge invites eligible entities or individuals — such as healthcare providers, frontline staff, patients, and caregivers — to submit demonstrated solutions. Solutions should reduce the transmission of coronavirus among people with kidney disease and/or reduce the risk of kidney damage among people who contract the virus. These solutions may be applied in a range of settings — such as dialysis centers, clinics, hospitals, homes, and transport. Solutions may address, but are not limited to:

  • Data collection and dissemination.
  • Patient management and monitoring.
  • Education, training, and communication.
  • Supply chain and resource management.
  • Care setting logistics.

KidneyX is particularly interested in solutions that consider the patient experience and could be implemented without requiring significant time, expertise, money, or other resources. Solutions that reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities facing existing health disparities are encouraged.

Evaluation criteria

The judging panel will assign up to five points for each of the criteria below, for a maximum of 20 points.

  • Impact. The confidence in the solution to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission among people with kidney disease and/or reduce the risk of kidney injury/disease among people who contract COVID-19.
  • Feasibility. The ease with which the solution could be implemented, considering factors such as time, expertise, money, or other resources required.
  • Adaptability. The extent to which the solution could be adapted for other people or used in other care settings and/or geographies.
  • Ingenuity. The degree to which the submission offers a new solution, demonstrates an improvement on an existing solution, or applies an existing solution in new ways.


The total prize pool for this challenge is $300,000. In recognition of their solutions, winners will receive $20,000 each. The challenge may also award honorable mentions. Read the official challenge announcement for full details on monetary prizes and eligibility.

Challenge timeline

KidneyX anticipates distributing the prize purse over two rounds of the challenge, but a third round may occur at the discretion of HHS and ASN.

Round 1

Submission period begins: November 6, 2020

Submission period ends: December 4, 2020 at 4:59 p.m. ET

See the prize winners for Round 1 here.

Round 2

Submission period begins: December 9, 2020

Submission period ends: January 20, 2021 at 4:59 p.m. ET

See the prize winners for Round 2 here.