Software Platform for the Analysis of Nutrition based Allergies (MENSSANA)

Published on: 21/05/2010
Document

The MENSSANA project intends to develop ICT solutions to support patients suffering from food allergies; the project team has developed a software that will support the diagnosis of food allergies via an electronic patient diary and a medical records system as well as a food database containing the ingredients of food available in Luxembourg and in other parts of Europe. The project team is currently performing a clinical trial consisting in comparing patients who are using the IT system with patients relying on conventionally treated food-related allergies.

The main results of the project are the creation of an online community: www.wikifood.eu , a patient diagnosis software (for the physician) and a Personal Allergy Assistant® (used by the patient).

Policy Context

National policy.

Description of target users and groups

Food Allergy Physicians, Nutritionists, Food Allergy Suffers, ePRO IT companies.

Technology solution

Technology choice: Proprietary technology, Open source software

Main results, benefits and impacts

The management of food allergies consists in educating the patient to avoid ingesting the responsible allergen; patients are therefore required to identify individual allergens in the daily food. Unfortunately, while purchasing food, people are left alone with ingredient descriptions that are difficult to read and understand. Ingredient lists are printed on the food packages but the European legislation does not oblige food producers to provide this information to any governmental institution dealing with consumer protection rights. Patients’ food diaries are important to identify individual food related allergens, however several studies have shown that significant amounts of the data in patients diaries is fudged or fabricated.

The project will therefore analyse how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can support patients and health professionals in their daily life nutrition habits. The MENSSANA project has several main objectives:

  • To develop a barcode reading Personal Allergy Assistant (PAA), helping in  distinguishing allowed from not allowed food;
  • The definition of a standardised Electronic Patient Record for Allergies (EPRA) with coherent patient diaries, acquisition of patient anamnesis, representation of allergy tests;
  • To provide food related allergy specific information via Internet;
  • To conduct a controlled clinical study to evaluate health economic effects and quality of life.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Track record of sharing

  • Distribution of results via publications, trade fairs, and public seminars;
  • Development of a web site for the public. 

Lessons learnt

The implementation of this project has brought out the difficulty in gaining manufacturing data, clinical trial management and the importance of the legal framework concerning the online content.

Scope: International