In the United States, over 32 million suffer from severe to potentially life-threatening food allergies. One out of every ten adults and one of thirteen children have to adjust to sometimes severe dietary restrictions and eating practices. There is no cure for food allergies, but through recent research and development, there has been a significant breakthrough in preventing food allergies altogether (FARE). Israeli digital health start-up companies are at the forefront of food allergy prevention innovation by developing several food allergy solutions with the assistance of artificial intelligence.
The possibility of food allergy prevention was actualized in a 2015 study, LEAP (Learning Early about Peanut). When LEAP measured the levels of the peanut-specific IgG4 antibodies in three participant infant groups: consumption, avoidance, and both, these groups were set to indicate the peanut intolerance in individuals and to determine if developing a food allergy could be avoided by diet alone. LEAP’s hypothesis proved accurate; children exposed to peanuts as infants are less likely to develop a peanut allergy during childhood. Out of 98 participants, 35.3% developed a peanut allergy in the avoidance group, while only 10.6% of the consumption group developed the allergy. These findings have further advanced critical food allergy reduction research and fostered the development for preventative methods. These Israeli digital health start-ups have adapted this research to create innovative solutions to relieve current allergy sufferers, and food allergy prevention for consumers/patients:
- MYOR– Is a digital health start-up that specializes in precision health solutions for infants and children. Its primary focus is on allergic conditions and nutritional deficiencies. MYOR produced a healthcare provider-facing app called NURTURE that identifies newborns at risk of developing allergies through the AI analysis of personal skin biomarkers. After the identification MYOR, creates a specialized plan to prevent future allergies.
- SensoGenic – SensoGenic is developing a consumer biosensor based on its patented molecule-allergen interaction and electronic detection technology. The company aims to provide a comprehensive solution for people suffering from food allergies.
- Ukko – Ukko’s mission is to improve the lives of people with food allergies and sensitivities. Ukko uses immunology, machine learning, and protein engineering to make measurably better and safer proteins for use in food and therapeutics. Ukko does this by designing and controlling the molecular interactions between allergen proteins and the immune system. Ukko’s technology uses samples from patients and machine learning to guide the engineering of superior proteins that can be incorporated into food products and therapeutics. These proteins maintain or improve beneficial properties (taste, nutritional value, yield, physicochemical and mechanical properties) but do not trigger an immune response. Ukko’s initial product pipeline includes celiac-safe gluten proteins, allergy-safe and therapeutic peanut proteins, as well as a channel of additional allergen proteins.
- SupimS Allergy – is a technology solution that helps people overcome existing allergies by desensitizing their immune system to be less reactive (or not reactive at all). The solution combines a proprietary method of digitalizing specific psychological techniques for allergies with advanced analysis, artificial intelligence, and biosignal devices. The tool implements a concept based on the field of psychoneuroimmunology.