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Scanwell Health Receives $1.6M NIH Grant to Develop At-Home Test for Chronic Kidney Disease

NEW YORK ─ The National Institutes of Health has awarded Scanwell Health a $1.6 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to continue developing a smartphone-enabled at-home test for chronic kidney disease, the firm said on Monday.

Los Angeles-based Scanwell said that with its assay patients would be able to test themselves from home using only a urine kit and their smartphones, enabling earlier diagnosis and accelerated care.

"We want to live in a world where kidney disease never comes out of left field, but far too often it does," Stephen Chen, founder and CEO of Scanwell, said in a statement.

An early version of the test is being used by researchers at Kaiser Permanente, Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, University of Pennsylvania, and other institutions as part of the NIH-funded Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) study.

The new SBIR grant will enable Scanwell to continue development and validation and conduct clinical studies before submitting the test for review to the US Food and Drug Administration, Scanwell said.

The firm said its at-home approach to lab testing is especially timely as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a major shift to telehealth.