LabDoor carries out thorough lab testing on supplements and gives consumers access on their mobiles to the results.
Every year 100,000 U.S. citizens die as a result of taking prescribed medicines. This works out as one person every five minutes, and 270 per day – double the number of fatalities in road accidents. A large number of prescribed medicines are accompanied by undesirable, sometimes fatal, side-effects, despite the fact that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides citizens with assurance that these products have been tested and that they conform to the regulations in force. Meanwhile, the dietary supplement industry, which offers products such as multivitamins and fast energy drinks, garnering $36 billion a year in annual sales, is not regulated by the FDA. This is the reasoning behind the recent move by San Francisco-based LabDoor to develop a web and mobile app designed to grade various medicines, supplements and cosmetics, thus providing the consumer with clear, accurate information on the products s/he is buying.
Lab tests plus algorithms
LabDoor’s grading system is based on a combination of traditional sources of information and a technology solution. First of all it draws on data from scientists and laboratories, supplemented by extra analysis from technical experts. It then uses proprietary LabDoor algorithms to compare products in terms of their safety, efficacy and price. Testing methods are extremely rigorous with a view to providing consumers with entirely trustworthy results. In order to identify the true makeup of the products tested, lab technicians check whether the information on the label actually corresponds to the contents, whether the product contains any hidden trace ingredients or contaminants, and whether the manufacturer is making any false claims about the product. In addition to reassuring the consumer, LabDoor also aims to reduce the health costs arising from the use of inappropriate substances in products.
Using the app in-store
While the science may be complex, using the app is really simple. LabDoor’s web and mobile app gives a grade of A-F – F being the worst – on a range of pharmaceutical products, dietary supplements and cosmetics, according to their levels of efficacy and safety. When a user cannot make up his/her mind between two products in a shop, s/he can check out the LabDoor app to see which product has obtained better marks, and is thus the better bet to buy. All you have to do is to type in the product name or scan a barcode, and you will receive a fast response to the key questions: Is it safe? Does it work? How much does it cost? And so on. The app is designed is to help reassure the consumer, who can sometimes be disconcerted by long descriptions and explanations on the product packaging, by providing more transparency on product contents and efficacy.