There is a new artificial intelligence/machine learning tool called Renal Tech* that may help predict whether or not a particular cat may develop Chronic Kidney Disease. Dr. Jonathan Elliott, whose Feline CKD genetics and inflammation research at The Royal Veterinary College we are proud to be supporting, is one of the developers of the test.
Essentially, Renal Tech is a computer program that compares your cat’s age and blood test results to those of thousands of other cats who have or have not been diagnosed with CKD. It applies a statistical analysis and, based on how your cat’s data compares to that of other cats, it tries to predict whether or not your cat will develop CKD. This tool is still at a very early stage, and how and under what circumstances it works is quite complex. (To see the original study publication in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, look here.)
Studies must now be carried out to discover the practical applications of this predictive testing; ie: how it can be utilized to improve a cats’ health and quality of life? If we have sound reason to believe that a cat will develop CKD in the future, what can be done to change course? We don’t have those answers yet, but every step we take towards a better understanding of Feline CKD brings us closer to solutions that can help cats live healthier, happier lives. We will be watching these developments closely, and will keep you up to date as information becomes available. Please ask your vet if Renal Tech is appropriate for your cat.
*Renal Tech is a Trademark of Antech.
While you're here, will you please help us fight the biggest killer of cats?