ScanAvert to aid drug efficacy, avoid food allergies

By Brian Dolan
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ScanAvertScanAvert, a wireless health application that alerts users before they eat something that they are allergic to or that might interfere with the effectiveness of their prescription drugs, officially launched today at Health 2.0 in San Francisco. ScanAvert currently runs on Android phones, however, ScanAvert CEO and President Ellen Badinelli told MobiHealthNews that the company plans to create versions for the iPhone 3GS and some BlackBerry models. ScanAvert uses the smartphone's auto-focus camera to scan products barcodes while consumers are at the grocery store, so the key limiting factor is whether the phone's camera has auto-focus.

ScanAvert screenshotScanAvert users must first register with the service online and identify allergies, dietary preferences and avoidances, illnesses and conditions, prescriptions and other criteria. The "other" category may include limits on a label's nutritional box, like calories, carbs, fat content and so on. The user then scans a product and ScanAvert compares that product's ingredients and nutritional information to the user's profile. The user receives an alert if an ingredient in the food item might decrease the effectiveness of one of the user's medications or conflicts with another field.

Here's more from the ScanAvert website that explains the drug efficacy angle to the product:

"Fifty percent of Americans take prescribed drugs, often unaware they are ingesting substances that are contra-indicative. ScanAvert offers a simplified method to avoid consuming substances in foods and OTC remedies that may interfere with the effectiveness of a prescription drug at the point of sale of those consumable products. Presently, pharmacies print adjoining information leaflets at the time the prescription is purchased. However, no standardized font or format exists, making this information difficult to read and digest. Further, this information is not readily available when purchasing consumable items that may contain harmful ingredients."

For more on ScanAvert, check out the company's website here.