Thammasat student received the royal trophy from their ‘HomeKidney’, a self-test kit to detect kidney disease

Ms. Areeya Punnopakorn and Ms. Anna Teekhathipsakul, fourth year medical technology students from the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Thammasat University received the first prize in the category of Innovative Idea and the Grand Prize, the royal trophy presented by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn from the KMUTNB Innovation Awards 2022 for the work “Urine protein self-test strips for people at risk of kidney disease (HomeKidney) “.

Areeya Punnopakorn revealed that this innovation was first developed from a case study of a diabetic patient. After a while, the patient was diagnosed with kidney disease and the symptoms worsened. I then wondered how the patient who had been under treatment could develop kidney disease and that not so long after diagnosing, the symptoms were already severe. I recognized that over the past period, the patient had not been diagnosed with kidney disease risk at all. Only patients who pay for the health package in which not everyone can afford to pay and people who are at high risk or have visible symptoms that the hospitals screen for kidney disease risks. This makes it very difficult for ordinary people to know their kidney health. Therefore, we came up with the idea to develop an easy self-test kit that anyone can use without having to go to the hospital, but providing the same accuracy as a hospital examination and can simply read and interpret the results at home.

Anna Teekhathipsakul added that the chronic kidney disease diagnostic test measures the levels of two substances called microalbumin and creatinine in the urine. Our advisors are Asst. Prof. Dr. Chollanot Kaset and Asst. Prof. Dr. Sirinart Chumian. Both of them have recommended various research papers as a guideline for studying and developing proper test kit. We have studied a lot of research papers until we could develop an effective test kit and make the reading of the results as easily as possible. We developed the dipsticks to be urine self-test strips that by simply dipping the test strips into the collected urine sample, it can detect the microalbumin and creatinine leaking from the kidneys when in risks of having kidney disease.

Later, we consulted with a nephrologist about extending its benefits to a wider range of medical uses. Some chemical studies and experiments have been carried out. It is currently being developed into a real test kit and possibly be developed further by focusing to archive medical records and updated information to application that connect to the doctor’s system so that patients can schedule a date and time to receive treatment, including additional doctor consultations.

Areeya Punnopakorn explainned that HomeKidney is an effective test kit for evaluating kidney function in order for users to acknowledge the future tendency of chronic kidney disease dianosis. The HomeKidney test kit is suitable for everyone regardless of their genders and ages, especially those with congenital diseases, such as patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease which is at risk of developing kidney complications in the future. The innovation was able to assess kidney function by detecting two substances secreted in the urine, microalbumin and creatinine, and interpreting them into a Microalbumin: Creatinine ration with an accuracy of 93% in dianosing kidney disease within 5 years period (Huda Al-Wahsh et al. 2022). HomeKidney’s product consists of a test kit, a urine collection container, and a manual for reading and interpreting results.

Ms. Anna Teekhathipsakul expressed her feeling towards winning this competition that “I’m very happy and it is really worth it as we dedicated ourselves a lot in achieving the desired outcomes. I strongly wish to present ideas that may help others in the future. Although this innovation is just a rough idea at this stage, but after winning the championship, we then develop the passion for this innovation to happen. This is because we want everyone to see that our ideas can benefit many more people who are interested in kidney health so that they can live with their loved ones for a long time”.

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