Every year, more than 5500 healthy people in the United States donate a kidney for the medical benefit of another person. The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) requires transplant hospitals to monitor living kidney donors (LKDs) for 2 years postdonation. However, the majority (115/202, 57%) of transplant hospitals in the United States continue to fail to meet nationally mandated requirements for LKD follow-up. A novel method for collecting LKD follow-up is needed to ease both the transplant hospital-level and patient-level burden. We built mKidney—a mobile health (mHealth) system designed specifically to facilitate the collection and reporting of OPTN-required LKD follow-up data. The mKidney mobile app was developed on the basis of input elicited from LKDs, transplant providers, and thought leaders.
The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of the mKidney smartphone app on LKD follow-up rates.
We will conduct a two-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT) with LKDs who undergo LKD transplantation at Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Eligible participants will be recruited in-person by a study team member at their 1-week postdonation clinical visit and randomly assigned to the intervention or control arm (1:1). Participants in the intervention arm will receive the mHealth intervention (mKidney), and participants in the control arm will receive the current standard of follow-up care. Our primary outcome will be policy-defined complete (all components addressed) and timely (60 days before or after the expected visit date) submission of LKD follow-up data at required 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year visits. Our secondary outcome will be hospital-level compliance with OPTN reporting requirements at each visit. Data analysis will follow the intention-to-treat principle. Additionally, we will collect quantitative and qualitative process data regarding the implementation of the mKidney system.
We began recruitment for this RCT in May 2018. We plan to enroll 400 LKDs over 2 years and follow participants for the 2-year mandated follow-up period.
This pilot RCT will evaluate the impact of the mKidney system on rates of LKD and hospital compliance with OPTN-mandated LKD follow-up at a large LKD transplant hospital. It will provide valuable information on strategies for implementing such a system in a clinical setting and inform effect sizes for future RCT sample size calculations.