What is Nudgeomics?
Nudgeomics is a concept pioneered by Professor Chris Toumazou, Regius Professor of Engineering at Imperial College London and Co-Founder of DnaNudge. It was first introduced by Prof. Chris Toumazou and Dr. Maria Karvela at the KPMG Innovation and Information Protection in Digital Health Conference in September 2016 and it has since been showcased in the World Economic Forum and New Scientist.
The concept combines Nudge Theory (find out more about Nudge Theory) with several disciplines to influence the health behaviour of individuals and communities. The key disciplines centred within Nudgeomics are genetics, personalised nutrition, bioengineering and technology development. The combination of these research fields and Nudge Theory aim to influence an individual’s health behaviour and inform personalised choices in a simple, sustainable way.
Fundamental to the concept of Nudgeomics is the idea that compliance and perception are different when an individual is in control of making the decision, rather than an external body nudging us towards a preferred behaviour. By allowing nudges to be shaped by the genetics of the individual, the person feels empowered to make decisions due to the internal locus of control.
'Nudgeomics…is a new concept used to explain how our biology can influence our decision-making, how our choice should be shaped, and how we inherently may express desire or bias for a given option'
– Professor Chris Toumazou
Figure 1 above demonstrates the closed-loop system of Nudgeomics and how it steers individuals towards beneficial changes. A physiological signal, such as genetic variations known as SNPs, are the input signal to form the external nudge such as DNA-based dietary recommendations.
The Nudgeomics method will be spearheaded through the ASPIRE-DNA clinical trial. Through this trial, Imperial College London and DnaNudge Ltd., are collaborating to assess if DNA-based dietary guidelines can help prevent type 2 diabetes in individuals with pre-diabetes. Click here for more information about the ASPIRE-DNA clinical trial and how it is helping people.