Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects 10% of the global population, among which renal fibrosis is a progressive process that can lead to end-stage renal failure. However, the invasive nature of renal biopsy imposes limitations on conducting multiple observations and follow-ups and has potential complications. Therefore, there is a pressing need to develop a non-invasive biomarker for precise monitoring and clinical management of renal fibrosis and its progression.


To tackle this challenge, a research team led by Prof. Michael Ying Tin-cheung, Associate Head of the Department of Health Technology and Informatics (HTI) and Dr Chen Ziman, Postdoctoral Fellow of HTI at PolyU, collaborated with Dr Su Zhongzhen, Vice President of The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, to develop the Smart-CKD (S-CKD), a non-invasive computer-aided diagnostic tool. 


The S-CKD device aims to improve disease progress monitoring and clinical management of CKD using informatics technology, while also offering a cost-effective solution for guiding patient management, thereby contributing notable clinical advantages. It integrates ultrasound data and selected clinical variables to provide clinical insights and assesses the risk of moderate-to-severe renal fibrosis progression in CKD patients with a promising diagnostic efficiency of 80%. 


S-CKD is accessible through an online web-based platform or in offline document-based format, making it a user-friendly auxiliary instrument for flexible clinical applications. The research findings have been published in the journal Academic Radiology.


Prof. Ying plans to conduct further prospective clinical research on S-CKD, utilising PolyU’s innovative medical technology and facilities in collaboration with medical institutions in the Greater Bay Area and our Hong Kong partners.