Blockchain explainer. Food and health. Game changers.
Happy Thanksgiving-eve all! This year I’m thankful for all of you who’ve put up with my terrible healthcare jokes.
Since it’s Thanksgiving, it’s worth talking about the relationship between food and health. Our health is largely impacted by what we put into our bodies, with food playing a major role. And yet diet has rarely been the concern of the health system until AFTER you get sick. For all the talk of preventive health, diet seems to get overlooked.
A few developments are bringing food into the preventive health umbrella:
1) New technology is being built to passively monitor biomarkers, even for healthy people. A new Apple patent shows that the company might get into blood composition monitoring via the Watch, something we’ve discussed in our Apple in Healthcare teardown. We will be able to see how our body reacts to food in real-time.
2) Genomics companies are helping us connect the dots between our DNA and how we react to food. This will hopefully help us better understand food-related diseases and eventually guide consumers to personalized nutrition that will help prevent diseases they might be predisposed to. Companies right now are doing this for the wellness audience, which we dive into in our fitness briefing, but hopefully this extends into a clinical capacity as more research surfaces.
3) Synthetic biology is bringing food production to the lab, enabling a future with customized foods and beverages. From synthetic wine to meat to seafood, synthetic biology could lead to a future that allows for more personalized diets for specific nutrition profiles. We mapped out some of those companies here.
4) Insurance is starting to get involved. Custom nutrition plan startup Platejoy recently unveiled its health offering which includes insurance reimbursement. You could imagine this would be particularly useful for people with certain chronic diseases.
Hopefully with these developments, we’ll see more of a focus on how our health is affected by our food.
I asked my family what they thought about self-driving cars last Thanksgiving. One of the physicians at the table brought up the interesting point that it would exacerbate the issue of organ donation since many usable organs come from auto accidents.