Danone Nutricia Research inaugurated its new Precision Nutrition D-Lab at Biopolis Singapore. The lab will be a global hub of innovation, using advanced digital technology to provide tailored nutritional care in early life.
The Precision Nutrition D-Lab comes amidst the government’s drive for digital healthcare in line with its Smart Nation initiative and the latest Budget announcement to increase healthcare expenditure to S$10.2 billion in FY2018. Supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), the lab is an example of the government’s support for private companies to play a more meaningful role in the provision of healthcare solutions for parents.
Through the D-Lab, Danone Nutricia Research hopes to play a more meaningful role in the provision of innovative healthcare solutions. “Being at the heart of Asia will allow Danone Nutricia Research to form strategic partnerships with regional healthcare experts to devise customised nutritional solutions to continue enriching the health of Singapore and beyond,” said Rocio Martin, Director, Research and Innovation, Danone Nutricia Research Singapore.
Read also our interview with Rocio Martin, Director, Research and Innovation of Danone Nutricia Research on its activities
Since its establishment in Singapore in 2011, Danone Nutricia Research has built a strong research network and established collaborations with local and regional institutions. It has partnered A*STAR, National University of Singapore and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital to conduct various experimental and clinical studies, that provide insights on early life gut microbiota which have the potential to predict the development of allergy later in life.
Run by over 35 professional researchers, the newly established Precision Nutrition D-Lab is equipped with digital-enabled data collection tools and data analytics to strengthen its position in pioneering research and innovation in early life nutrition. It will be developing real-life, self-service tools that capture and analyse parenting data and advise parents and healthcare professionals, which include:
- A device that records and analyses baby cries 24/7 to provide feedback for parents and healthcare professionals to better determine the concern of crying.
- An app that measures baby stool consistency and help parents gain insights on their baby’s gut function and development.
- An app that scores baby skin symptom and provides advice to parents and healthcare professionals.
- Artificial Intelligence conversational tool that addresses concerns and uncertainties of parents and to gather data around parental feelings.
The D-Lab adopts a multi-disciplinary approach that combines data science and machine learning to help generate insights on early life nutrition. These insights enable researchers to discover new biological mechanisms, predict the risks of certain diseases and eventually drive nutritional solutions for the long-term health of individuals.
Commenting on Danone Nutricia Research’s latest commitment, Mr Chan Ih-Ming, Director of Consumer Businesses, Economic Development Board, said, “Singapore is uniquely positioned to support multi-disciplinary, niche hubs like Danone Nutricia Research’s Precision Nutrition D-Lab. Our capabilities in early life nutrition and digital technologies, alongside a strong research base and deep understanding of Asian consumers, make Singapore a natural choice location for Danone Nutricia Research. We are excited to build more of such deep expertise and talent with like-minded partners, from Singapore.”