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Digitalising Health Through Personalisation

personalised nutrition goes digital
Imagine entering a supermarket after a hard day’s work; your smartphone pings to tell you tonight’s meal should be a high-carb pasta dish, because you have a scheduled workout coming up.

By Nard Clabbers

Furthermore, data has shown pasta has a proven positive effect on the performance of people with your blood type. An app on your phone sends you a quick message to tell you you’ve run out of full-fat yogurt for tomorrow’s breakfast. You still have the low-fat yogurt, but that’s only for the weekends, because the full-fat fits better with your DNA. You come home to find the pasta-cooker warming up, and a large glass of water waiting, courtesy of your automated drinks dispenser. This because your personal intake tracker determined you were nearly home and needed more water before your workout.

How futuristic is this situation? Not very! Innovative measuring systems and wearable technology mean we are better able to measure our personal health than ever before. Nutritional and wellness advice can now be based on real world data from digital calendars, sleeping patterns, medical records, blood types, DNA structures and online purchasing patterns. By connecting these genotypes—the total of a person’s observable characteristics—we can give unique and detailed nutritional advice to anyone at any time.

Right now in 2018, a personalised and digitized system providing nutritional guidelines is reserved for the chosen, happy few. Initiatives like Habit or Crispr are expensive and require a significant commitment of both time and energy to produce any actionable results. Still, we can expect widespread accessibility relatively quickly. The data is already there, after all. Over time, access to it and the tools required to turn it into personalised nutritional advice will inevitably become cheaper and widely available.

The lower the barrier to entry to a personal nutrition system, the more widespread its use. This will lead to future food choices no longer being based on just things like price, convenience, or flavour; health will be one of the leading factors to consider for many consumers. Foodservice companies will need to take this into account in their future business models. Where before these companies could influence the narrative on what constitutes healthy food through advertising, future consumers will have ready access to hard scientific facts. It’s in the best interest of food producers everywhere to listen to consumers’ individual needs and desires, and to adjust accordingly.

TAGS: Trends
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