SBIR and STTR Success Story for
Culmini Inc.

(Information Posted/Updated on 06/08/2012)

Culmini Inc.
1404 Vancouver Avenue
Burlingame, CA  94010

Contact:    Dr. Constantia Petrou
Phone:      650-504-6716
Web Site:

Project Title:  Web interactive patient guides for complex medical treatments
Related Award(s):  R43DK074209, R44DK074209
Technology Developed:
The Konnectology guides help patients find hospitals with high success rates that also cater to their medical condition. Konnectology is a scalable system that accommodates treatment-specific and condition-specific sub-sites: kidney transplantation and dialysis for ESRD patients, and other gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and orthopedic treatments for CKD and diabetic patients.

Key Words:  kidney transplant, dialysis, hospital comparison, chronic kidney disease, end stage renal disease.
Uses of Technology/Products/Service:
Konnectology guides focus on the most common and most costly medical treatments delivered to high risk patients. For the 1.4 million CKD patients and their 13 most common treatments, alone, 12,300 lives and $1.1 bil costs could be saved every year, if these CKD patients know about the best providers who also have best results with kidney disease.

We have successfully developed Konnectology, a patient guide to hospitals with best success rates, for kidney transplantation and dialysis. We have applied and tested a novel methodology for these guides and showed that it is more accurate than the existing method (CJASN December 2011, 6:2838). This enables us to provide scientifically valid information on the centers with best success centers to patients and their families, building trust with them and their physicians. The two first Konnectology guides address the needs of 100,000 new end-stage renal disease patients each year who are looking for the best provider to get their transplant or dialysis. Based on site usage analysis, Konnectology influences and expands patients’ hospital choices, pointing them to the top providers (manuscript under preparation). Shifting ESRD patient preferences to the best transplant centers and dialysis clinics can potentially save 2,125 lives every year and reduce annual costs by $190 mil.

Konnectology is currently being expanded to the 13 most common and high risk treatments for all 1.4 million chronic kidney disease patients (not only the end-stage-renal-disease patients). The suite of treatment-specific and condition-specific guides relevant to CKD patients is extensible to other patient sub-populations, such as diabetic patients, at lower incremental costs.

Benefit to Company:
The SBIR program has so far enabled development of the hospital comparison technology through its market introduction phase for kidney transplantation and dialysis. Patients are now finding and using these two Konnectology web guides. They are highly engaged and first year usage indicates that Konnectology expands patients' hospital choices beyond those that are near them or the centers recommended by their doctors. Konnectology has improved the methodology of differentiating among hospitals and the company published its methodology in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN December 2011, 6:2838). A continuation grant is pending to complete the scalability phase into more treatments, taking advantage of economies of scale.

How Product Was Commercialized:
Konnectology is being directly marketed to patients and their families by Culmini Inc. It is now in the revenue generation stage.

Other Comments Related to Company's Success Story:
17,254 visitors came to the Konnectology site in its first year of launch. Time spent by each subscriber is longer than 2 hours.