Atrium Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine and Renalytix Partner to Advance Kidney Health

05.20.2021 Atrium Health News

Partnership marks a long-term commitment to reducing impact of kidney disease in large populations via integration of earlier risk assessment paired with comprehensive disease management

Renalytix AI plc, Atrium Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health and Wake Forest School of Medicine announced a partnership to implement an advanced clinical care model designed to improve kidney health and reduce kidney disease progression and kidney failure in high-risk populations.

The KidneyIntelX bioprognostic platform for early-stage diabetic kidney disease risk assessment will be available through Atrium Health’s electronic health record (EHR) system, providing access to primary care physicians, endocrinologists, nephrologists and care teams throughout 37 hospitals and more than 1,350 care locations across the Carolinas and Georgia. Charlotte, North Carolina-based Atrium Health serves more than 7 million people in the region, providing care under the Wake Forest Baptist Health name in the Winston-Salem, N.C. region and Atrium Health Navicent in Georgia.

The partnership with Renalytix enables focused population health initiatives in kidney disease and will provide real-world evidence of optimized delivery of care, improved quality of life, and reduced healthcare costs.

Renalytix will co-locate personnel in Winston-Salem to support the partnership program with Wake Forest School of Medicine at the Innovation Quarter’s iQ Healthtech Labs, which is the core industry partnership hub of the innovation district. Renalytix and Atrium Health believe the partnership is closely aligned with the core precision medicine and healthy aging sectors that are a focus of iQ Healthtech Labs.

The new program initially targets diabetes-associated kidney disease, a critical healthcare need in the region served by Atrium Health and designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the "diabetes belt" and the "kidney disease belt." In this region in particular, but also nationally and internationally, costs and patient suffering related to diabetes and its associated complications are increasing at unsustainable rates.

Detecting patients at risk for rapid progression of kidney disease at early, treatable stages is challenging. This effort is critical to optimizing care and improving outcomes using kidney protective medications, specialist referrals and lifestyle changes," said Barry I. Freedman, M.D., John Felts professor and chief of nephrology at Wake Forest School of Medicine and chief medical officer of Health Systems Management, Inc., the operator of Wake Forest Baptist’s outpatient dialysis clinics. "KidneyIntelX can help us better allocate clinical resources across Atrium Health’s southeastern service region. Patients with diabetic kidney disease at high risk for progression to the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant can be detected earlier and receive intensive blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and lifestyle management and referral to specialists. We expect the outcomes to be very positive for our patients and for our health system."

The partnership with Renalytix is a significant milestone in carrying out our commitment to continually innovate to improve population health in our region," said Terry G. Williams, chief population, corporate and government affairs officer at Atrium Health and executive leader in iQ Healthtech Labs. "Initiatives focused on the generation of unique data-driven insights to improve patient outcomes enable us to deliver effective education and care pathways to improve care and outcomes. Together, we are innovating to achieve clinical excellence and are laying the foundation for patient and physician access to advanced prognostic precision medicine in a major chronic disease."

Our commitment to advancing kidney health with KidneyIntelX is strategically aligned with Atrium Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health’s goal to advance care delivery using innovative precision medicine guided care," said James McCullough, chief executive officer, RenalytixAI. "Renalytix values this opportunity to demonstrate clear, informative evidence of the value of a comprehensive care solution in a region of the United States particularly challenged by diabetic kidney disease. That evidence is important for clinicians, patients, regulators and payers."

KidneyIntelX is a novel bioprognostic solution that interprets the combination of laboratory results from a simple blood draw and selected electronic health record (EHR) information using a machine learning algorithm. Unlike other solutions available today, the KidneyIntelX risk score assesses a patient’s near-term risk for progressive kidney function decline and failure in the earliest stages of the disease when steps can be taken to preserve kidney health.

The partnership also powers a five-year, multi-center evidence development program across the region, in which patients with chronic kidney disease will receive the KidneyIntelX test as part of a comprehensive care solution to drive quantifiable improvements in patient outcomes. KidneyIntelX will also be made broadly available to patients with both private and government insurance, including Medicare beneficiaries under the Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology expected to be fully implemented in December 2021. RenalytixAI will be providing financial support to Atrium Health in the form of collaborative research and development, digital health technology deployment, education program delivery and third-party resources in each of these critical areas.

About Atrium Health

Atrium Health is a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care. Atrium Health is an integrated, nonprofit health system with nearly 70,000 teammates serving patients at 37 hospitals and more than 1,350 care locations. It provides care under the Wake Forest Baptist Health name in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, region and Atrium Health Navicent in Georgia. Atrium Health is renowned for its top-ranked pediatric, cancer and heart care, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. A recognized leader in experiential medical education and groundbreaking research, Wake Forest School of Medicine is the academic core of the enterprise, including Wake Forest Innovations, which is advancing new medical technologies and biomedical discoveries. Atrium Health is also a leading-edge innovator in virtual care and mobile medicine, providing care close to home and in the home. Ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals for cancer treatment and in eight pediatric specialties, Atrium Health has also received the American Hospital Association’s Quest for Quality Prize and was the recipient of the 2020 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Equity Award for its efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care. With a commitment to every community it serves, Atrium Health seeks to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all, providing more than $2 billion per year in free and uncompensated care and other community benefits.


Media contact: Joe McCloskey,, 336-716-1273