DnaNudge – Shopping with your DNA

The world’s first DNA-based healthier food selection service, includes Insight SiP RF module

When shopping for food, many people struggle to make healthy choices, and obesity has become a widespread problem. When following a diet, it is not always easy to access the right nutritional information, particularly when faced with an overwhelming number of foods to select from supermarket shelves. Fortunately, there is now a solution developed by DnaNudge that encourages healthy eating by “nudging” consumers to pick out the healthiest food, most suited to their unique DNA profile and lifestyle, when shopping.

UK company DnaNudge recently launched the world’s first DNA-based service to enable healthier, personalised, food shopping choices. Among the key technologies forming part of this service is a DnaBand wristband which includes the ISP1507-AX, an ultra-miniature RF module, developed by Insight SiP. This module uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to communicate data wirelessly between the DnaBand and a smartphone app.

Using the DnaBand or the smartphone app, users can scan barcodes on food product packaging of most major UK food retailers. The software analyses the product’s nutritional content considering eight metabolic categories, including caffeine metabolism, sensitivity to calories, carbohydrates, fats and saturated fats, obesity risk, and salt and sugar sensitivity. These categories are matched to the user’s unique DNA profile to determine if the product is “green” and suitable, or “red,” and should be avoided, depending on the user’s DNA. (The DnaNudge service tests for predispositions to conditions that are nutrition-related such as Type II diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension and obesity.) In the latter case, the app will recommend a range of healthier, alternative foods for you.

Science-led analytics

The DnaNudge service and recommendations are based on published and science-led analytics and world-class research, developed by world-renowned biomedical engineer Regius Professor Chris Toumazou from the Imperial College London and leading published geneticist, Dr Maria Karvela.

Public health benefits

The DnaNudge service also comes with the endorsement of Shirley Cramer, CEO of the UK’s Royal Society of Public Health who said: “We think that this [technology] has huge potential to change shopping behaviour in the future, and to encourage us all to make healthier choices; all of which is important if we are to turn the tide in preventing and managing major health issues such as obesity and Type II diabetes.”

DnaBand, a multi-functional smart wristband

The DnaBand enables you to do several things:

  • Scan products - With a red or green light, it highlights whether the food is suitable for your biological makeup.
  • Monitor your activity levels - If the DnaBand detects that you have been too sedentary, an amber light means that the green, healthy products will now scan as amber, encouraging you to move until you turn the light green.
  • NudgeMatch with friends - It tells you which DNA traits you share with friends.
  • NudgeShare with family – It helps you select products appropriate for all your family.

 The full DnaNudge service – how it works

The DnaNudge service is easy to use. You simply go to one of DnaNudge’s UK stores and take a DNA nutrition test. This involves giving a cheek swab. Using industry-leading portable and secure, cost-effective DNA analysis technology, DnaNudge extracts the DNA from your sample and analyses the DNA code relating to your specific nutrition-derived health state, all within an hour.

Your unique DNA results are downloaded in digital form into a personalised capsule which is inserted into your DnaBand and then uploaded to your DnaNudge app. The app contains your personalised DNA report and enables you to scan products and receive food recommendations. It also incorporates the same activity level monitor, NudgeMatch and NudgeShare features as the DnaBand.

Availability and cost

The full DnaNudge service is currently only available in the UK. It currently costs £120 (approx. €140/US$160) including the test, service and DnaBand, capsule and charger. The app is free to download from the App Store, Google Play or the DnaNudge website.

Professor Chris Toumazou, Co-Founder & CEO, DnaNudge said:

“We selected the ISP1507-AX RF module for its outstanding combination of miniature size and excellent processing performance at very low power levels, making it ideal for enabling Bluetooth connectivity for our DnaNudge wearable application, which helps shoppers make healthier food selections, based on their personal DNA profiles.”

Nick Wood, President, Insight SiP said:

“We are pleased to see Insight SIP’s RF modules being used in innovative and exciting personalised healthcare applications such as DnaNudge’s and embedded in wearables which will contribute to improving their users’ health.”

The RF module technical background

For wireless communication, the DnaBand uses a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) solution including an ultra-miniature RF module, the ISP1507-AX, developed by Insight SiP based on the NordicSemiConductor nRF52832 chip. This embedded Bluetooth solution syncs the DnaBand with DnaNudge mobile app.

Insight SiP’s ISP1507-AX module is one of the smallest solutions on the market for sensor and mesh connectivity. It is Bluetooth 5 ready, offers NFC pairing, a complete set of 30 IOs and has 512kB Flash and 64 kB RAM memories, and is ideal for any type of wearable technology including healthcare, medical and fitness connected objects as well as for consumer and Industry 4.0-IoT based applications.

For further information, please contact:

Martin Forrest, PR & Marketing, Insight SiP

Mobile: +33 7 89 69 54 25 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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