10 reasons why your food-tech company needs an epidemiologist (and not a dietician)

why your food-tech company needs an epidemiologist

Companies want to improve their products, brand, and presence in the industry. When they hire the right person, it can make significant impact on the credibility of their products and increase brand visibility as well as differentiate their products.

While dieticians work great on the individual level, an epidemiologist can take it a level deeper through data and scientific knowledge. This can help companies reach their goals and increase their profits.

Let’s take a look at 10 ways an epidemiologist can improve your company.


Competence on quantitative methods

With an in-depth education in quantitative methods or a related field allows epidemiologists to understand complex situations and use quantitative reasoning to find specific answers, such as how to rate adherence to a specific type of diet based on what people report they eat.

Understanding Data Analysis

There is a huge push toward hiring people with a strong background or understanding of data analysis. Start-ups thrive off of data from millions of users to discover behavior and habits. An epidemiologist can help startups in the medical and nutrition industries create solutions personalizing medical or nutritional advice. This process requires a large amount of data comprehension to identify useful variables for users’ profiling.

data analysis

Having strong knowledge about how to run surveys can increase your IP

The data companies collect contributes to their intellectual property (IP) and becomes a huge asset to their success… if they know how to correctly the right type of data through well-designed surveys. An epidemiologist who understands how surveys work can maximize opportunity to collect valuable data for the company.

Ability to evaluate scientific evidence and studies

There are so many studies out there and it can get pretty complicated to analyze which are the most reliable. Most of the studies used by food-tech and health-tech companies to develop their products are, indeed, epidemiologic studies. Epidemiologists are familiar with many study designs (including things like, cohort studies, randomized controlled studies, or meta-analyses) and can interpret their results correctly for the company, so they can focus on what they do best.

scientific studies

Ability to identify high-quality epidemiological studies

As I wrote in the previous point, epidemiological studies shouldn’t be ignored. However, there are tons of studies out there, many of which have very low scientific quality. An epidemiologist in your team can help you find the most valuable studies, and help you understand why they would be valuable for your company.

An epidemiologist can run systematic reviews and meta-analysis and knows how to judge evidence and interpret results of systematic reviews, which often need to be interpreted with a grain of salt.

Machine learning is based on predictive and classification models

Epidemiologists understand predictive and classification statistical models that have been used for decades and that are today used in machine learning and other types of artificial intelligence. It is often based on databases to “train” new algorithms. Epidemiologists work with large databases generated by large epidemiological studies.

machine learning

Ability to talk with all types of professionals

Studies are often complex and involve several professionals, such as statisticians, data managers, dieticians, physicians, and food scientists. Epidemiologists have sharp communication capabilities to be able to work effectively with many different professionals. This is a crucial quality for a product manager.

They are involved in large studies and have a large network

Epidemiology is a field that involves large collaborations. Epidemiologists are great at cultivating a large network of scientists who help with any questions and tips on new challenges such as helping a startup company develop a new product or service!


Competence in disease classification (ICD)

Many startup companies are trying to develop innovative solutions for medical applications. This requires knowledge in how to correctly classify diseases, a task that is usually performed using the International Classification of Diseases system (ICD). Epidemiologists can work closely with founders and their teams to use this system and prevent disease misclassifications which could end up generating gross mistakes.

Analyze and classify users’ data to find the most profitable niches

As mentioned before, startup companies often collect large amounts of data from their users. Epidemiologists can help identify the most profitable niches or the users’ characteristics that predict purchase of paid features in an app. This is practically gold for companies!

As a professional epidemiologist, food scientist, and nutritionist, I help companies grow their ideas and develop new products that benefit the public health world. I can give credibility to your products by backing them up with solid scientific principles.

Get help from a highly qualified professional who has been working for over 15 years in the fields of food, health, and nutrition.

Find how I can make a difference for your company today!

Contact me TODAY!

Gianluca Tognon

Gianluca Tognon

Gianluca Tognon is an Italian nutrition coach, speaker, entrepreneur and associate professor at the University of Gothenburg. He started his career as a biologist and spent 15 years working both in Italy and then in Sweden. He has been involved in several EU research projects and has extensively worked and published on the association between diet, longevity and cardiovascular risk across the lifespan, also studying potential interactions between diet and genes. His work about the Mediterranean diet in Sweden has been cited by many newspapers worldwide including the Washington Post and The Telegraph among others. As a speaker, he has been invited by Harvard University and the Italian multi-national food company Barilla.

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About Me

I’m an Italian nutrition coach, speaker, entrepreneur and associate professor at the University of Gothenburg. I started MY career as a biologist and spent 15 years working both in Italy and then in Sweden.

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