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Patient Innovator Challenge

Total prize amount:$70K

The KidneyX Patient Innovator Challenge prize competition, funded by the National Kidney Foundation, challenged individuals, communities, businesses, institutions, and non-profit organizations for ideas on how to improve therapeutic options and quality of life for people with kidney diseases.


  • Sought ideas and fixes that people with kidney diseases have developed through their own everyday experiences and ingenuity.

Projected Impact

Recognized all the innovative ideas and solutions that people with kidney diseases can create


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Category 1 – Solutions already tried or put into practice
  • Ann Chokas of Great Neck, NY, for designing a smartphone app to monitor blood test results.
  • Chris Jaynes of Cardiff-by-the-sea, CA, for creating a way to extend the life of a kidney removed for transplantation to give surgeons more time to access the organ.
  • Deepa Kariyawasam of London, England, for creating kidney patient diet booklets geared toward minority cuisine.
  • David Kuraguntla of South San Francisco, CA, for creating a device to monitor fluid levels in dialysis patients.
  • Sarah Lee of Baltimore, MD, for creating a device that disinfects tubing for peritoneal dialysis.
  • Robert Richter of Coconut Creek, FL, for creating a device to help a one-handed veteran administer home dialysis.
  • Chelsea Roman of Sacramento, CA, for creating a 3D-printable wrist cuff to secure needles used in home dialysis.
  • Lana Schmidt of Liberty, IL, for using a state-funded home aide program to hire someone to help her with home dialysis.
  • Deborah Stanzak of Twinsburg, OH, for creating clothing suited for dialysis patients.
  • John Vito of Rochester, NY, for creating a video cooking series for end-stage kidney failure patients.
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Category 2 – Ideas for solutions not yet created
  • Brian Bender of Raleigh, NC, for a home-use device in development to track sodium levels in urine.
  • Andrew Brookens of Denver, CO, for a proposal to open a home dialysis education center to train patients.
  • Chandra Chhun of McDonough, GA, for a proposal to develop an online platform to help home dialysis patients.
  • Anthony Clark of Wilmington, DE, for a proposal to create kidney food labels for kidney patients.
  • Jaclyn Giannakoulis of Stoughton, MA, to develop a program to rent home dialysis cyclers for patients when they travel.
  • Nieltje Gedney of Kearneysville, WV, to develop a toolkit for home dialysis patients to give real-time feedback.
  • Varun Goyal of Carmel, IN, to develop an app to help transplant patients keep track of their medicines.
  • Lonnie Green of Kennesaw, GA, to develop a peer mentorship program for dialysis patients.
  • Mary Lou Hurley of Bloomingdale, NJ, to create a handout about transplants for patients to give to emergency room professionals.
  • Daniel Marsh of Baton Rouge, LA, to develop an “open chair” app to help patients find a real-time dialysis center that has an immediate opening.
  • Sandeep Padala of Augusta, GA, to develop help from dialysis patients who are released from prison.
  • Emmett Smith of Seattle, WA, to develop a device to help with dialysis catheters.
  • Ben Studdard of Nashville, TN, to create music videos to teach patients about medical terms.
  • Cher Thomas of Galveston, TX, to develop a program to link dentists with patients on the transplant waitlist.
  • Joyce Vergili of Kingston, NY, to create a device to monitor blood potassium levels.

Additional Information