Pre-diabetes concept: Blood sugar management trial in Singapore revealed by DSM-backed Hologram Sciences
Based in US, the start-up is a wholly owned subsidiary of DSM, and is focused on providing personalised nutrition solutions for both D2C as well as B2B.
James Bauly, chief innovation officer at Hologram Sciences and head of personalised nutrition at DSM, said Hologram Sciences was established to meet evolving consumer needs.
“We realised a few years back that consumers were getting increasingly confused around health and wellness solutions, including supplements. If you stand in front of a drugstore shelf, you have an overwhelming choice of nutritional supplements and many consumers don't know how to navigate that.”
So, the company wanted to take a more personalised approach.
“This means giving every consumer personalised advice on what types of nutrition products they can use, and what kind of lifestyle choices they can make to address a particular health condition or a particular health outcome.”
Hologram Sciences does this through a concept built on three key pillars, diagnostics, digital and delivery.
Diagnostics is the approach for assessing an individual’s nutritional and lifestyle status through a lifestyle questionnaire, food frequency questionnaire, DNA test, finger prick blood test, or wearable tracking devices.
Digital was designed to acquire all the data from diagnostics, and process and sort them to make specific recommendations about diet, supplementation or lifestyle. This would typical be done through an app and may include other options such as the ability to do interactive live coaching with a certified dietitian or nutritionist.
The last pillar is the delivery of nutritional products as well as lifestyle advice. Examples would include supplements, food recipes, and menu plans.
DSM will supply innovation expertise around the science and product delivery, while Hologram Sciences will design the digital backbone and deliver the integrated solution.
Trial in Singapore
Hologram Sciences is now planning to run a trial for a personalised blood sugar management concept in Singapore.
Together with renowned Professor Jeya Henry from the Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation, the objective of the trial is to study the lifestyle and behaviour change around pre-diabetes, and help individuals make the right choices around diet and exercise.
The trial will test an app which has a live coaching function, combined with a proprietary ingredient to help control blood sugar and a healthy diet to help prevent onset of diabetes or even reverse pre-diabetes.
The trial is expected to begin June or July this year.
Bauly said the firm chose Singapore to run the trial because of the awareness and existing work around diabetes and pre-diabetes in the country.
“Singapore is extremely progressive and active in its own fight against diabetes, having declared war on diabetes a few years back. Singapore is also a hub for innovation and research and development, including in the space of blood sugar.”
While diabetes is a global challenge, Asia-Pacific has one of the fastest growing rates of diabetes.
“What's really interesting is that before you become diabetic, quite often there's a period of time where you're prediabetic and a lot of the time people aren't aware of that. That's really a key moment where it's possible to intervene with the nutrition and lifestyle concepts that can actually help slow down the progression of prediabetes or even reverse it.”
Hologram Science strategy is to focus on its D2C brands, before working on the B2B side.
Bauly told NutraIngredients-Asia: “Once the consumer brand has been launched and reaches a certain level of success, it will be possible for DSM customers to access that technology or concept.
“There will also be opportunities to co-develop or co-invest in some of these concepts with our B2B customers.”
Hologram Sciences recently launched its first D2C brand called d.velop, which is an immunity concept.
It consist of a questionnaire, an in-home vitamin test which uses a finger prick, an app to give the individual lifestyle recommendations around managing sleep, stress, exercise, which are important for immunity, and lastly deliver an exclusive form of vitamin D in the form of pills.
The vitamin D used in d.velop is made with calcifediol which is absorbed directly into your bloodstream. This means it is three times faster at increasing vitamin D levels than regular vitamin D3.
Consumers can access this personalised solution through d.velop’s website or app.
The immunity brand is rolled out in the US first, with other markets set to follow.
The company has several concepts in the pipeline including pre-diabetes, women’s health and motherhood, sports performance, and gut health.