Dr. Edward Sazonov, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at The University of Alabama, has managed to create a prototype device that is able to detect the kind of food we’re eating and add the calorie count to an accompanying app. Called an Automatic Ingestion Monitor, or AIM, it would automate what is currently the manual process of inputting the food items through various apps.
“We can estimate diet and nutrient intake, but the primary method is self-reporting,” Sazonov said. “The sensor could provide objective data, helping us better understand patterns of food intake associated with obesity and eating disorders.”
Sazonov is using a $1.8 million, five-year grant from the National Institute of Health to test the practical accuracy of the wearable sensor in tracking diet. It has already proven viable, and now the task is to make the device smaller and validated in a more formal, robust experiment in the community.
AIM is worn behind the ear, and has a camera that is used to detect and capture imagery of food intake to estimate the mass and the energy content of the food. Moreover, the built-in sensor feels vibrations from movement in the jaw, filtering out such jaw motions as talking, that are not coming from drinking or eating.
AIM is worn behind the ear, and has a camera that is used to detect and capture imagery of food intake to estimate the mass and the energy content of the food.The information provided by AIM could be used to improve behavioral weight loss strategies or to develop new kinds of weight-loss interventions. In addition, the AIM could also provide an objective method of assessing the effectiveness of pharmacological and behavioral interventions for eating disorders.
The device would initially be used as a medical device, and only later be turned into an affordable product consumers would buy.
Also on the project are Dr. Megan McCrory, a co-principal investigator and an associate professor of nutrition at Georgia State University; Dr. Janine Higgins, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine; and Dr. Jason Parton, assistant research professor of statistics at UA.
[Via: UA News]