Collecting food consumption records is an important aspect of various personal and population level studies from medical studies to social and behavioral studies. Traditionally collecting such data required either trained research staff to monitor the user or a self-report questionnaire from users, therefore the scale and availability of such studies were strongly limited.
However, smartphones widely available today can be used to act as the trained research staff collecting the data both continuously and discretely, making sure of its validity and monitoring the user’s behaviour.
The Food Logger smart phone application is an open source platform which provides state of the art food consumption monitoring and tracking. Food Logger supports multiple stream types as input data including text, voice, barcode and now images. It has access to some of the largest validated nutritional datasets including NutritionIX for providing accurate and validated nutrition information about each food item which is searched using any of the modalities.
However a Food event is not just the food you eat, there are many other factors and attributes associated with a food event. The context plays an important role in how we perceive the food and how it affects us and Food Logger is designed to capture different aspects of a food event which can help in reconstructing the causality of the food event. How much you eat, the time of eating, the location, and how much you actually enjoyed the food are important factors which can make two different food events with the same food item completely different and the Food Logger captures this information easily and intuitively requiring the least amount of interaction from the user.
Food Buddy is a larger platform which is built on top of the Food Logger platform.
It is designed to not only log food but act as a personal dietary assistant expert. At the same time we want this platform to be practical, easy to use and convenient making the platform user friendly and that’s why we call it Food Buddy.
Different aspects of your state affect the food experience including sleep, stress and activity. This kind of information can be logged as self report in the application.
Food Buddy collects information from your phone including your weight history, sleep quality, step count and calories burnt if the information is available.
In addition we let the user log self report data about some medication consumption, if you want to design a specific study and want to ask for specific information and medications that would be possible to get a customized version of Food Buddy for your specific needs.
An important part of Food Buddy is creating the Personal Food Model of the user which understands the food related characteristics of the user thus using push notifications and contextual recommendations, Food Buddy provides the user with the right information at the right time in the right place, promoting effective behavioural change towards a healthier yet enjoyable lifestyle.