Lux Research recently unveiled their Take on the Future of Digital Biomarkers report, which looks at key factors to help them gauge the tools market readiness.
Appearing on the NutraCast, Lux Research analyst Dani Bradnan said traditional biomarkers are things like ultrasounds, EKGs and biopsies, “where digital biomarkers come in are when you're able to actually develop a biomarker from data that is collected continuously and in a non-invasive way from some of the really interesting digital tools that we're starting to see in the consumer marketplace. So things like Fitbit, and Amazon which again, non-invasively and continuously measure markers of things like heart rate and sleep and all of these other metrics where we are able to really get a better snapshot of what an individual's body is functioning like and so you end up with this really nice data set that can be used to make these diagnoses and make these treatment decisions,” explained Bradnan, who added algorithms are the secret sauce of digital biomarkers.
There’s no limit to this technology’s potential in the personalized nutrition space, with companies getting really creative with how they use these digital tools.
“Nutrition solutions or consumer packaged goods companies are starting to look at ways to find digital biomarkers on products that can help validate the claims of their nutritional offerings. So say, for example, you have someone who develops a food product that they claim helps with sleep. They may or may not go through any kind of regulatory body approval, but it really helps their consumer base understand that it works if they can tie a digital biomarker or specific reading on a wearable to better sleep to their nutritional product,” explained Bradnan.
While the idea of using digital tools at a doctor appointment may not seem commonplace, Bradnan said it will.
“Right now we kind of take for granted that if you go to the hospital and you get a culture done, that's just normal. Whereas it's not normal yet that your doctor will look at your Fitbit data for example, but we're moving in that direction.”
To hear the full conversation on Bradnan’s research and her advice for those interested in getting in on the digital biomarker action, listen to the NutraCast.
NutraCast is a podcast that focuses on insights from inside the nutrition industry. It is a production by NutraIngredients-USA. Music by Kevin Macleod.