The Kymatika Test by Health Diagnositics claims to be able to determine a person's food intolerances by having the person place their hand on a device which "bombards their body with 40 different sequences to determine their response". Its website is no longer operational, and included in the top Google hits for the product are the Bad Science write up and this article. It was touted as superior to anything medically approved due to its non-invasive and quick nature.
Despite the science behind the device being either wrong or somewhat made up, the K-test was used frequently by at least one large chain of pharmacists. The device and test play to a certain degree of paranoia that people have developed over recent years. The "read out" of the K-test is just the usual stuff that nutritionists say to get someone to pay them money; they're allergic to wheat, dairy, should eat more, and so on.
The test was featured on the BBC TV consumer affairs programme Watchdog. Despite being more concerned that the public were being "ripped off", as is the show's mission, it did feature an interview with Dr Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Science, to explain some of the non-science behind the device. Although not a rigourous scientific experiment, the show did do a quick test of the device at two locations and, obviously, this produced two completely different results. The company behind the device rejected these claims, stating (as any old excuse would do) that the tests were in "conflict with our standard operating procedures". A member of the Kymatika team confirmed, on the BBC Watchdog blog, that "you shouldn't take the test more than once within a 24-hour period".
Following the complaint, the device was reported to be under investigation by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
In 2009, LBC 97.3FM aired a half-hour show devoted to the K-Test, with its owners peddling what Ben Goldacre described as "almost half an hour of pure, unabashed, pseudoscientific product promotion". Because of a previous spat with LBC over licensing of a discussion over MMR, Goldacre tried to get the rights to the interview in order to show it online to a wider audience. LBC never got back to him, indicating that they probably didn't want the nonsense they were publishing open to actual scrutiny.
- Health Diagnositics — Kymatika test (archived from February 24, 2008).
- Daily Express - Be aware of the food allergy trap
- Used by Superdrug
- BBC Watchdog - Food intolerance test
- Bad Science - LBC, MMR, Jeni Barnett, an Early Day Motion, the Times, and, er, a bit of Stephen Fry…
- The Kymatika K-test and… oh, look at that: LBC.