The ex-premiers are co-founders of the UK firm with Professor Chris Toumazon and Dr Maria Karvela. DNA nudge is currently based in Covent Garden in London and is the first retail DNA product in a sector that will soon rival the pharmaceutical industry as people seek more to prevent ill health rather than curing it or assisting people to live with chronic conditions.

As Thailand gears up for further political street protests, comes news from LA where former premiers Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra are charting a new future in the exciting and burgeoning world of health tech with a new product which Mr Shinwatra said this week had the potential to change the world.

Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra launch DNA Nudge in LA. Former Thai prime-ministers now in the Health Tech business in London
Former Prime Ministers of Thailand, Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra, at the LA Consumer Electronic Show 2020 where they promoted the DNA Nudge product, a project they have invested in as co-founders for the last 3 years. Launched in London in December, the product is a retail DNA analysis that can be worn on the wrist and used to make the right health choices when selecting food.

Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck, this week, were pictured at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas promoting a new DNA product and service that allows people to identify their own DNA and make healthier food choices while shopping. The new product helps users reduce the likelihood of disease and promotes better health by guiding them towards better behaviour in line with their DNA.

Both siblings are former Thai prime ministers

Both siblings are, of course, former Thai prime ministers with Thaksin leading the Thai Rai Thai Party to victory in the 2001 and 2005 general elections making him Thailand’s most successful elected prime minister. His politics represented a curious but powerful formula of conservatism, populism and radical innovation in the economic sector, a touch and character trait he has never lost.

He was ousted following a coup in 2006. In 2011, his sister Yingluck led the Pheu Thai Party, currently Thailand’s leading opposition party in a seven-party alliance, to a landslide election victory but was dismissed from office by a court decision in 2014 only weeks before an army coup led by Thailand’s current prime minister Prayut Chan ocha.

Yingluck and Thaksin in LA

On Wednesday, the two former premiers teamed up at the LA exhibition where Yingluck tweeted: ‘My brother and I are here at Consumer Electronic Show 2020 [CES 2020] Las Vegas, the United States, launching our business we invested in and just launched in London.’

Working on the projects as co-founders for 3 years

However, the new business is certainly not linked to politics, nor is it a PR gimmick.

It has emerged that Thaksin and his sister have been working with two other founders on the project for the last three years. DNA Nudge is based at a Covent Garden retail outlet in London where Dr Thaksin helped launch the company in December. 

At the launch for DNA Nudge, Thaksin, a former telecommunications billionaire before getting into politics over twenty years ago, said that as he is getting older, he has become more particular about the scale and nature of new investments.

‘I’m of advanced age and don’t want to invest in something too big but we think this product can really change the world,’ the 70-year-old former Thai leader, who announced his resignation from politics last year, said in a Facebook video. 

Former owner of Manchester City FC

Thaksin is also believed to be an investor in the tourism industry in Eastern Europe as well as shipping in China. The highly successful businessman bought the Manchester City Football Club in 2007 but sold it again 2008 to Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the wealthy deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates.

First DNA test available at retail level

One of the co-founders of DNA Nudge is Professor Chris Toumazon who explains that it is the first DNA test offered at retail level to assist people while shopping for food products: ‘DNA nudge is the first retail-based DNA test which enables people to shop for food products and make healthier choices based on their own DNA,’ he explained.

The Thaksin siblings and the professor are also joined by Dr Maria Karvela who is also a co-founder.

Customers can have a DNA analysis on the spot – ‘We are what we eat’ says former PM Thaksin

Customers can visit the DNA Nudge store and have a DNA test done on the spot.

The results of the DNA test are kept on a small cartridge which users can wear with a special wrist strap which can be used in a shopping environment to rate and analyse food choices based on the individual’s DNA.

In the course of a video presentation following the launch of the new health technology service last month, Thaksin summed up the concept – ‘We are what we eat,’ he told his audience.

Mini laboratory within the device

Professor Toumazon explains it in more detail: ‘We have a DNA test which you can do very quickly in the store and it will tell you various nutritional facts based upon medical conditions such as risk of obesity, or cardiovascular disease or hypertension and it nudges the customer to shop for the best food product and gives us more choices.’

The professor explained that the biggest challenge with the technology was to essentially create a mini-laboratory within a technology device to give an accurate DNA analysis for the users. 

The results of the DNA test is then transferred onto the small cartridge which the user can wear on a wriststrap to use the DNA device and associated software in a shopping environment.

The company currently operates from London

For now, the headquarters of DNA Nudge is a retail outlet in London where the concept and apparel for its use were showcased in December. 

The new product is a pioneering example of a new industry which is opening up as an alternative to the pharmaceutical sector to preserve and bolster good health rather than curing or as with many medical conditions and personal situations today, simply alleviating the more debilitating symptoms.

Further reading:

Thaksin’s son off the hook on money laundering charges connected with Krung Thai Bank loan scandal

Thaksin cleared in ‘Big Boss’ Krung Thai Bank loan scandal which has so far seen 19 people jailed

Serbian President defends Yingluck’s citizenship as Thaksin tells the BBC they have Balkan friends

Thaksin, Thailand’s ex premier, has previous honours removed by the military and monarchy within days

Thaksin,Yingluck enter the new world of DNA health technology

+ Thaksin,Yingluck strike out into the exciting new world of DNA health technology in LA as they launch a new health tech product called DNA Nudge as co-founders. O' Connor reports from London

Posted by on Friday, January 10, 2020