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Improving outcomes for chronic kidney disease

Prof Suzanne Robinson (Faculty of Health Sciences); The Digital Health CRC; WA Department of Health; WA Country Health Services; La Trobe University; WA Primary Health Alliance

Chronic kidney disease (CKD), a condition characterised by the gradual loss of kidney function, is a major global health problem. CKD affects approximately 1 in 10 adults, with a further 1 in 3 adults at risk of developing CKD in their lifetime.

CKD often has no symptoms in its early stages, meaning up to 90% of cases go undiagnosed until the disease is too advanced to manage, requiring a kidney transplant or ongoing renal replacement therapy. The cost of treatment of advanced stage CKD is high, and coupled with the rising burden of CKD, is currently unsustainable for Australia’s public health system.

This project is using a ground-breaking Privacy Preserving Record Linkage (PPRL) technique developed by Curtin University researchers to create a linked data resource of pathology and secondary healthcare data. The CIDS, along with specialists in the Faculty of Health Sciences, is providing expertise in big data analytics that will be applied to the linked data to provide a better understanding of the types of patient pathways through the health system, and the true burden of CKD in WA. The findings will identify the gaps in the healthcare system that are contributing to the rising burden of the disease, leading to better outcomes for patients and creating a sustainable and equitable healthcare model.