There is a huge open market for developers and companies looking to explore big data, as well as consumer-driven data. As more and more consumers become aware of what and how they consume food and beverages, the intake of certain elements has become increasingly important to them. Storing all of that data in an online form will prove to be quite the challenge, but blockchain technology is here to help.
Consumers Use Apps To Track Ingredient Intake
The health industry is a booming business for app developers and companies looking to process all of that data. Everything we eat or drink has a certain amount of calories, carbs, salt, fat, fibre, and proteins. A lot of people have started to keep track of these things themselves, in order to live a healthier lifestyle.
That being said, we live in a digital age now, where everything is stored on the devices we carry with us at any given time. In particular, the mobile app market is seeing a huge influx of “healthy” applications, such as the ones keeping track of sugar intake, or a number of calories one has eaten and drank throughout the day.
Entering all of that data manually is quite an annoying, as well as time consuming, task, so more recent mobile apps keep track of those statistics for us. Consumers can simply scan the barcode of the food or drink they consume and it will track all its ingredients on your behalf. Sugar intake, especially, has become a great concern to a lot of consumers, as it is one of the biggest threats when it comes to obesity or medical conditions.
A new free mobile application – released by Public Health England – keeps track of the sugar intake by scanning barcodes found on items. Nearly every product made for consumption has its own barcode, which is linked to databases containing all the information regarding the product’s ingredients. Displaying the sugar intake per product in the form of sugar cubes paints an interesting insight for consumers.
Because of the heightened intake of sugar, various governments around the world are looking to make high-sugar items more expensive. Belgium, for example, has added a separate taxation on sweeteners and fattening products, in an attempt to steer consumers away from these unhealthy alternatives.
National Obesity Forum Spokesperson Tam Fry stated:
“A glance at the ingredients list on any packaging will tell you immediately what the product’s ‘total sugars’ are and the app won’t tell you any more. Instead of messing around with gimmicks, Public Health England would be better advised to publish how little sugar should be given to infants and toddlers.”
Storing The Data And Keeping It Safe On The Blockchain
While these efforts are nothing short of admirable, this type of data collection raises another important question. Who is storing all of this data and how? Databases have proven to offer insufficient protection, as the number of hacking attempts against databases has been on the rise for several years now.
Blockchain technology can play an important role in this regard as this innovative solution offers a decentralized way of storing data. Rather than relying on one set of computers to keep the data safe, all of the information would be distributed all over the world, and protected with cryptographic encryption.
Not only will this create an ecosystem where hacking information becomes all but impossible, but it will also make use of extra storage capacity consumers and companies are wasting right now. Blockchain technology offers plenty of advantages, by storing data all over the world, and keeping information publicly accessible at any given time. Plus, all of this costs a fraction of traditional database solutions.
What are your thoughts on the health industry and the way data is stored right now? Is blockchain of use in this market? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, BT