FoodMarble, the Irish-based digital health company, has received clinical validation from a leading international digestive health research group. The start-up, which was founded in 2016, has developed a breakthrough device, AIRE, to help people overcome digestive problems.
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FoodMarble AIRE device and companion app (Photo: Business Wire)
Using breath analysis and a connected app, the technology enables users to measure how well they absorb different types of foods, so they can identify which foods they can eat without discomfort.
Researchers from the University of Auckland found that the pocket-sized device successfully detected malabsorption of lactose and milk when compared with a gold-standard benchtop clinical machine.
The study marks an exciting step forward for personalisation in the management of conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The study was published in Nutrients, a leading peer-reviewed journal.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects 1-in-8 people worldwide and can have an extremely disruptive impact on those affected. The FoodMarble AIRE was developed to help users measure their digestion in real-time.
The device was originally conceived by CEO Aonghus Shortt, an engineer seeking to help his girlfriend, Grace, find what foods triggered problems for her. Since launching just over seven months ago, the invention is now helping thousands of people around the world with similar struggles. Last month, for instance, the start-up registered its 300,000th breath test on the platform.
Prof. David Cameron Smith, the Principal Investigator of the University of Auckland study, said: “Given FoodMarble’s substantially lower cost, its small size and the ability to test in the home (or anywhere), we wanted to test its validity. Our independent analysis demonstrated just how well FoodMarble correlated against a gold-standard breath analysis machine used in hospitals. After this initial success, we’re excited about the prospect of using the FoodMarble in future studies to unravel the links between food and digestive discomfort.”
Earlier this summer, research from FoodMarble was presented at the British Society of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting, where FoodMarble won best academic poster in its category. This research has since been published in Gut, a leading academic journal.
Elsewhere, FoodMarble is working with clinicians in the UK, Ireland and the United States.
Dr Bu Hayee, consultant gastroenterologist and clinical lead at King’s College Hospital, said: “IBS is a really challenging condition for patients to manage and often physicians are limited in the support they can offer. We are keen to explore if we can improve patient outcomes and experiences through innovative technology like FoodMarble.”
When describing the potential for personalised medicine to help in digestive health, Niall Moloney RD, FoodMarble’s in-house dietitian, said: “IBS is made up of several underlying conditions and triggers, which aren’t fully understood yet. Our goal is to help our users build a comprehensive picture of their digestive health so we can deliver meaningful and actionable feedback to them.”
Notes to editors:
The FoodMarble AIRE device is available from foodmarble.com and the app is free to download from the App Store or Google Play.
FoodMarble was set up in Dublin, Ireland in 2016 by three engineering PhDs, Aonghus Shortt, CEO, Lisa Ruttledge, COO, and Peter Harte, CTO, and they were later joined by Dr James Brief, a New York-based gastroenterologist. The company received funding from SOSV and were selected for the highly competitive hardware accelerator, HAX, based in Shenzhen, China and later Breed Reply, a London-based VC. FoodMarble now has a team of 17 people spanning data analysis, product development, gastroenterology, microbiology and dietetics, supported by an experienced board and set of expert clinical advisors.