Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center has become the first hospital in California to adopt a new test to identify patients at risk of developing acute kidney injury, a potentially deadly condition estimated to cost the U.S. health-care system as much as $10 billion per year.

The NephroCheck test was developed by San Diego-based Astute Medical Inc., which says the assessment can help clinicians determine whether certain patients are likely to develop severe AKI within 12 hours following the test. Knowing the risk can lead to closer patient surveillance and, in some cases, may help prevent deaths.

“I’m excited to start using it, and believe it will help get a jump on the condition,” Dr. John Videen, a nephrologist at Sharp Chula Vista, said in a news release.

Astute says about half the 5 million people admitted annually to U.S. intensive care units develop AKI. Worldwide, about 2 million people die each year from the condition.

The company says NephroCheck is the first test of its kind, and that before the assessment was introduced, clinicians could only detect AKI after it had already occurred.

Astute develops what are known as biomarkers for medical conditions acquired in hospitals and elsewhere. Its focus is on abdominal pain, acute coronary syndromes, cerebrovascular injury, kidney injuries and sepsis.

Sharp Chula Vista is part of Sharp HealthCare, a health system with four acute-care and three specialty hospitals, as well as a health plan, two affiliated medical groups and outpatient facilities.