About Us

Making learning simple, effective and accessible for every patient.

Our platform enhances learning and increases confidence for patients and providers, and enables personalized care delivery through their entire kidney disease journey.

For decades, patients, providers, and care teams have struggled to find reliable resources and answers to health questions. Ikona is fixing this, starting with kidney disease.

Experience the go-to education platform to enhance patient health literacy and confidence, and to understand the role of effective learning in meeting care needs and goals.

1 in 3 US adults is at risk of developing kidney disease

It's time people had a reliable way to access, understand, and use vital information about their health that makes a difference in their lives. We aims to make this possible.

Where does ikona come from?

A nod to our co-founders' Greek roots, ikona represents our vision for a future we aim to build together. We started this company to help patients face uncertainty. As a VA patient and two surgeons, our founders met from two sides of a shared struggle.

Today, our multidisciplinary team of scientists, clinicians, educators and engineers are rethinking kidney education using a combination of learning science, storytelling and immersive technology.

Built by patients, for patients

Tim spent his last eighteen months in the US Navy as a patient. After several surgeries, hundreds of wound care treatments and far too many months spent in isolation, he experienced hopelessness firsthand.

The challenges he faced in understanding his treatment plan and what he could do to take back control of his life are felt by countless other patients and families on a daily basis. Tim's journey through uncertainty is what he now draws upon to lead IKONA toward fulfilling its mission and transforming how patients learn.

Peer-Reviewed Research

The promise of VR in healthcare learning: An application in kidney care education and training

Maddox, T., Fitzpatrick, T., & Montoya, V. (2021). The promise of virtual reality in healthcare learning: An application in kidney care education and training. In Applied Virtual Reality in Healthcare, Walter Greenleaf, Ph.D. & Bob Fine (Eds.).

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The promise of virtual reality in healthcare education and training: It’s all in the neuroscience

Maddox, T., & Fitzpatrick, T. (2020). The promise of virtual reality in healthcare education and training: It’s all in the neuroscience. Digital Medicine, 5(4), 133-137.

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A Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program for In-Center Hemodialysis: A Patient-Centered Quality Improvement Program

St. Clair Russell, J., Southerland, S., Huff, E.D., Thomson, M., Meyer, K.B., & Lynch, J. (2017). A peer-to-peer mentoring program for in-center hemodialysis: A patient-centered quality improvement program. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 44 (6), 481-489, 496.

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Human Category Learning 2.0

Ashby, F.G., & Maddox, W.T. (2011). Human category learning 2.0. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1224, 147-161. NIHMSID# 249970.

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COVID-19 and mental health: A review and the role of telehealth and virtual reality

Sainz-Fuertes, R., et al, Fitzpatrick, T., & Maddox, T (2021). COVID-19 and mental health: A review and the role of telehealth and virtual reality. Digital Medicine..

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Using learning science to optimize chronic kidney disease education for patients and providers

Maddox, T., Fitzpatrick, T., & Chmielewski, C. (2022). Using learning science to optimize chronic kidney disease education for patients and providers. Nephrology Nurse Journal, 49(1), 39-44.

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End-stage renal disease treatment options education: What matters most to patients and families

St Clair Russell J, Boulware LE. End-stage renal disease treatment options education: What matters most to patients and families. Semin Dial. 2018 Mar;31(2):122-128. doi: 10.1111/sdi.12665. Epub 2018 Jan 7. PMID: 29315798.

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Scientific Advisory Board

Yolanda Becker, MD
Transplant Surgeon
Qasim Butt, MD
Interventional Nephrologist
Kimon Bekelis, MD
Co-Founder, Neurosurgeon
George Kakoulides, MD
Co-Founder, Neurosurgeon
Rich Wood, PhD
Chronic Care at CVS Health
Marc Leighton
Head of Product at Florence Healthcare

Blogs

Learning Styles and Your Health

How information is presented to you can have a big impact on whether you remember it— and in your ability to use that information later on.

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Report: Virtual Reality in Kidney Care Education and Training

In this report we focus on the use of immersive technologies, like virtual reality, as a complement to traditional kidney care education and training approaches.

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Report: Optimizing Kidney Education

In this report, we outline a neuroscientific framework for determining which learning solution is optimal for specific kidney education and training problems.

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