Mobile apps are an emerging product in the food allergy world. There are more of them every year, and I suspect that they will become a greater part of our lives in the future. These pioneers have all created products that make managing food allergies a little easier.
The three finalists for this Reader’s Choice Award each tackle a different aspect of the challenges of living with food allergies. AllergyEats has created a restaurant locater linked to its database of peer-rated restaurants, MyFoodFacts has developed a bar code scanner that provides allergy alerts, and findER will locate the closest emergency room to your location, wherever you travel. Each deserves applause for their achievement.
Thousands of readers voted in the Food Allergy Reader’s Choice Awards. From these three finalists, they chose:
In third place, EMNet FindER is a free app developed by Massachusetts General Hospital that allows users to find the closest emergency room using their mobile device.
The app shows locations of nearby hospitals on a map, with a bar at the bottom of the screen that reads "The closest ER is __ miles away. Tap here for directions." It also provides address and phone information that is constantly updated. If you are traveling with food allergies, having this knowledge easily accessible in your phone is invaluable.
In second place, MyFoodFacts allows users to scan bar codes using their in-phone camera and receive a personalized allergy warning. After entering your family’s allergens into the program, you can use the camera on your smartphone to scan bar codes. The program will show you an alphabetized list of ingredients in large, easy-to-read font, and will deliver a pop-up box with an allergy alert warning if the product contains one of your allergens.
AllergyEats Mobile App
And the winner is: AllergyEats Mobile App. The app allows users to use a "find near me" search for restaurants and returns a list ranked by allergy-friendly rating. If you are traveling to a new city, you can use the app to search for convenient, allergy-friendly restaurants.
AllergyEats was started 2010 by Paul Antico, after he experienced difficulty finding safe restaurants for his three children with food allergies. The mobile app is a new addition intended to make finding safe “eats” even easier.