Scientists in US develop food-tracking AI system to reduce malnutrition

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It is estimated that more than half of residents of long-term care homes are either malnourished or at risk of malnutrition

New technology could help reduce malnutrition and improve overall health in long-term care homes by automatically recording and tracking how much food residents consume.

The smart system, developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo, the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging and the University Health Network, uses artificial intelligence (AI) software to analyze photos of plates of food after residents have eaten.

The sophisticated software, which examines colour, depth, and other photo features, can estimate how much of each kind of food has been consumed and calculate its nutritional value.

Researchers collaborated with personal support workers, dietitians and other long-term care workers to develop the system, which saves time as well as improves accuracy and would ideally be added to tablet computers already used by front-line staff to keep electronic records.

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