Chronic Kidney Disease  
 November 1, 2021

Lyfebulb and CVS Kidney Care® partner to drive innovation and improve access to breakthrough technologies

Monday, November 1, 2021

NEW YORK and WOONSOCKET, RI — Lyfebulb, a patient-empowerment platform that connects patients with industry experts to support user-driven innovation, and CVS Kidney Care®, a CVS Health® (NYSE: CVS) company, invite entrepreneurs to submit patient-centered and tech-forward ideas that reimagine the kidney health experience as part of the Lyfebulb-CVS Kidney Care Innovation Challenge.

Together, Lyfebulb and CVS Kidney Care encourage entrepreneurs to bring forward strategic, creative, and scalable concepts to make care more understandable, accessible, and equitable to serve kidney patient and care partner needs. Proposals may range from early to mature product development and include initiatives designed to:

  • Encourage better kidney health
  • Improve early evaluation for chronic kidney disease (CKD
  • Educate health care providers and patients around kidney function
  • Increase cultural empathy among health care workers
  • Remove social barriers that affect kidney health outcomes
  • Increase the diversity of nephrologists

Communities of color bear a disproportionate share of kidney disease’s burden, with individuals frequently underdiagnosed and struggling to obtain equitable care. Applicants from historically underrepresented communities and those personally affected by CKD or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are particularly encouraged to submit their ideas. 

“Treating kidney disease is not enough. We must empower kidney health,” said Dr. Jesse Roach, Senior Medical Director, Health Equity, CVS Kidney Care. “Patient entrepreneurs are an important resource to identify innovative ways to break down barriers facing kidney disease patients in underserved communities across the country.”

Selected applicants will receive an invitation to pitch their business ventures to an expert panel of judges composed of health care industry, medical, and patient leaders over the course of a two-day in-person summit in the Boston, MA area, on March 2-3, 2022. One winner will be awarded a $25,000 monetary award to further the development of their solution. CVS Kidney Care may consider competing finalists for possible partnerships or investment opportunities beyond the challenge.

The judging panel will include:

  • Richard Knight, President, American Association of Kidney Patients
  • Glenda Roberts, Director, External Relations and Patient Engagement at UW Kidney Research Institute/Center for Dialysis Innovation; Chief Strategy and Operations Officer – Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Center
  • Michael Pimental, Vice President, Strategic Partnership and Growth Acceleration, CVS Health®; Co-Founder & Partner, CVS Health Ventures
  • Adele Gulfo, Chief Business and Commercial Development Officer, Sumitovant Biopharma
  • Keisha L. Gibson, MD, MPH, FASN, UNC School of Medicine
  • Kyu Rhee M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Aetna®

“Patients and their loved ones possess incredible insights and are uniquely positioned via lived experience to identify new business solutions to combat this disease and improve health equity among all,” said Dr. Karin Hehenberger, CEO and Founder of Lyfebulb. “Through this call-to-action, we will surface solutions that are tackling the challenge in partnership with the very community we seek to serve.”

The competition is free to enter. Official eligibility criteria, and terms and conditions can be found on the official website. Applying companies must be registered in the United States.

Applicants may apply now through December 14, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT by visiting the application page.

About CVS Kidney Care

CVS Kidney Care® is reimagining the future of kidney health to help patients do more than survive – but thrive. Our unmatched patient insights, grounded in CVS Health’s connectivity, link data and clinical knowledge to create a personalized approach that breaks down barriers to care, including systemic barriers that have led to disparities in kidney health. Our end-to-end approach is flexible and customizable to help support a truly patient-centered experience. No matter where people are in their kidney health journey, we help them connect to an integrated network of options that make care easier to understand, more accessible, and suited to their needs.  

We are changing kidney disease as we know it because the more than 37 million Americans living with chronic kidney disease deserve more than 20th century solutions. Learn more at

About Lyfebulb

Lyfebulb is an innovation accelerator that bridges the gap between patient communities and the healthcare industry by working directly with patients and care partners to generate insights and build new solutions to reduce the burden of living with chronic disease. Lyfebulb operates across 11 disease states and counting. For more information, see,  Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Karin Hehenberger LinkedIn.

For more information:

CVS Health Contact:
KC Sledd
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
Phone: +1 401 328 5361

Lyfebulb Contact:
Karin Hehenberger, MD, PhD
CEO & Founder, Lyfebulb
Phone: + 1 917-575-0210