Intermountain center taps AI, telehealth to improve kidney care

Intermountain center taps AI, telehealth to improve kidney care

By Greg Slabodkin

Artificial intelligence and telemedicine are among the technologies Intermountain Healthcare is leveraging in a new center to provide kidney patients with the care they need—even at home.

The Intermountain Kidney Care Center, in Murray, Utah, brings together under one roof doctors, nurses, dietitians and other clinicians to offer fully integrated and coordinated medical services.

Among those services are telehealth-enabled care and in-home dialysis to ensure that Intermountain is able to successfully manage patients with kidney disease and remotely monitor their condition, no matter where they live. Currently, about 12 percent of Intermountain’s dialysis patients receive in-home care.

Ray Morales, the center’s executive operations director, contends that the facility is an effort by Intermountain to “take a more proactive approach” to managing patients with chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease.

“This new program is really geared towards early identification and management of kidney disease,” says Morales. “What makes this new clinic innovative is that we look to leverage telehealth to co-manage the disease. A lot of these patients don’t just have chronic kidney disease but three to five other comorbidities. These patients are complex and require a team approach.”

According to Morales, all of the exam rooms and workstations in the Intermountain Kidney Care Center are tele-enabled with the goal of helping patients to get remote access to care in a convenient manner “without adding additional burden to their lives.”

In addition, the center has partnered with Israeli health IT vendor MDClone to transform Intermountain’s vast clinical data repositories into actionable insights by identifying trends and key decision points in treating kidney disease and applying that knowledge to help prevent patients from progressing to end-stage renal disease.