The Italian Almanac

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Technology vs. Allergies

Italian scientists have found a unique solution to help an estimated three million Italians who suffer from allergies - a smartphone application to help them identify food labels to manage their sensitivity. The non-profit International Fund for Advanced Research in Allergy and Immunology ONLUS and Allergy Data Laboratories developed the application and presented details of the project in Rome. The application enables patients to use an ID code to connect to the application, read the label and connect to a database with details of all the product's ingredients and information about the presence of all known antigens.

"The system is ready and we have introduced 15,000 products into the database, around 10% of the total," said Adriano Mari from the Centre of Molecular Allergology at the Institute for Hospitalisation and Scientific Care (IDI-IRCSS)in Rome. "Now however, there is a need for collaboration with companies to convince them to insert 'intelligent' labelling and provide a list of products. The costs would be limited because it is a completely open source and transparency would be to the companies' advantage. The system would be efficient if it covered 80% of products".