How Data Analytics Can Combat Chronic Kidney Disease


Over 90% of people with early-stage chronic kidney disease don't know they have it. The time is now to make early intervention more commonplace.

Bobby Sepucha  and  Tom Robinson

2 min read

One in seven American adults – or 37 million people – are estimated to have chronic kidney disease (CKD). But nearly nine in ten people living with early-stage CKD are unaware they’re suffering from it. Says Bobby Sepucha, Chief Executive Officer of Cricket Health, a company working to help people better manage their CKD, a primary reason for this is because there’s great attention being placed on the approximately 500,000 people on dialysis, but very little attention placed on the tens of millions of Americans with CKD.

In this episode of the Oliver Wyman Health Podcast – recorded in honor of National Kidney Month – Bobby and Tom Robinson, a partner in Oliver Wyman’s Health and Life Sciences practice, discuss the current state of CKD and how Cricket Health’s strategies for detecting kidney disease earlier are helping keep patients rushing to the emergency room, not realizing what’s wrong with them. 

Listen to the Podcast:

Memorable Moments From This Episode:

  • “Unfortunately, we have a system in America today where all the focus is about intervening only after kidney failure.”
  • “There are too many point solutions we all focus on regarding specific disease states and specific verticals within healthcare. And we don't talk to each other. And I think that goes a long way in explaining why we have the fragmented healthcare system we do today.”
  • “The Medicare ‘per-member per month’ cost for a Stage 5 CKD patient is in the order of $5,000 per month. And it can skyrocket to $15,000 or $20,000 as someone progresses in the incident period of dialysis. The reason is that so many of these patients – over 65 percent or so – crash into dialysis, and then are showing up in the emergency room, without knowing they have the disease.”
  • “When people are literally showing up in the emergency room with no idea what's wrong with them, I don't think that's a failure based on lack of resources. It's a failure due to the misallocation of resources. If we spent half as much – or a quarter as much – time, money, and attention on CKD, as we do on ESRD (end-stage renal disease), patients would have much better health outcomes, a much higher quality of life, and we would save the system a whole lot of money in the end.”