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Discovery through digitalisation

In recent years, a growing body of evidence indicates that the microbiome plays a part, influencing not only the development of eczema but also allergies and even metabolic conditions like obesity.

For example, study showed that supplementation of a specific blend of probiotics and prebiotics could restore the gut microbiome in babies born by Caesarean section, thereby reducing their risk of developing eczema.

“These findings were discovered in our conventional clinical study, but I am sure that in this digital age, new technologies will help us discover other aspects of how nutrition can impact the health of infants and young children”, Dr. Katrien Van Laere, vice president of research & innovation for early life nutrition at Danone Nutricia Research, told Asian Scientist Magazine.

“On the one hand, new techniques and devices help us collect more data and with greater accuracy. On the other hand, with the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, we can generate correlations and make predictions,” Dr. Van Laere explained during the interview at Danone Nutricia Research’s Precision Nutrition D-Lab.

Precision Nutrition D-Lab, which was officially opened on 14 March 2018 in Singapore, 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 analyze parenting data and advise parents and healthcare professionals.

Click infographic to learn more about the Precision Nutrition D-Lab.

“Although I have been in research for over 20 years, I find it very exciting to now be in the fourth industrial revolution,” Dr. Van Laere said. “I am passionate about combining what we know in the life sciences with the possibilities that digitalization brings.”

“That’s what makes Danone Nutricia Research such a great organization to work for; knowing that you can impact the lives of children if you do the right thing.”

Read the interview with Dr. Katrien Van Laere, Early Life Nutrition Goes Digital by Asian Scientist Magazine.