HT&Y The Future Award Shortlist: Portable Allergen Tester


In the UK over 20000 patients are admitted to hospital each year with allergic reactions (HSCIC 2014) this is costing the NHS over 68 million a year. Half of all deaths from food-induced anaphylaxis happen in restaurants.

The Portable Allergen Tester allows users to identify allergens within a meal on a microscopic level. This product will be portable as it’s intended to be an on the go practical solution used in restaurants. It will fit seamlessly into the user’s dining experience and aims to give the user more confidence whilst eating out. The product is a preventative medical measure by reducing the likelihood of an allergic reaction. The device currently tests for lactose and outputs the results electronically; future development will look into tests for other allergens.

Judges Comments:

“Nothing like this is currently available in the sector, and there is demand given the statistics behind those who have food allergies”

“Only in the testing stage currently but there is a clear future in this product to help those with allergies”

“Cheaper than most testing products making it affordable for everyone”

About Julia Manning

Julia is a social pioneer, writer and campaigner. She studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991, later specialising in visual impairment and diabetes. During her career in optometry, she lectured at City University, was a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital and worked with Primary Care Trusts. She ran a domiciliary practice across south London and was a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. Julia formed 20/20Health in 2006. Becoming an expert in digital health solutions, she led on the NHS–USA Veterans’ Health Digital Health Exchange Programme and was co-founder of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Her research interests are now in harnessing digital to improve personal health, and she is a PhD candidate in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at UCL. She is also dedicated to creating a sustainable Whole School Wellbeing Community model for schools that builds relationships, discovers assets and develops life skills. She is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Digital Health Council. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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