Counting, logging and calculating everything you eat while on a diet can be a tedious and dreaded task. With the help of Anthony Ortiz, Co-Founder and CEO of Fitly (now called Fit Simply), a startup that created the “SmartPlate”, this task has become much easier to accomplish. This health conscience device helps with portion control, calorie counting and controlling carbohydrate intake. SmartPlate focuses on ridding any barrier that keeps someone from being able to simply manage their nutrition. This could mean big things for consumers who reap health insurance benefits from things like employee wellness programs that lower premiums when weight is lost and health risks decrease.
“The SmartPlate is designed to identify, weigh and record everything on the plate through sensors and transmit that information to an app. It can also produce information on carbohydrates, protein, fat and sodium, data the company gets from the USDA.”
SmartPlate aims to eliminate the guessing game factor of nutrition and to uncover hidden calories and fats consumers may not realize they are intaking. With most health monitoring technology today, such as Fitbit, the user has to manually log their calorie intake and wear the device for the nutrition plan to work correctly. However, the SmartPlate makes the entire process much easier and more efficient by weighing the food directly. The plate is designed to alert the user, through the mobile app, if they exceed their daily allotted carbohydrate setting. The plate uses machine learning technology which means that the more data the user “feeds” it, the smarter the plate gets at recognizing different types of foods. This type of technology could become extremely useful in hospitals or nursing homes that contain patients who are on strict dietary restrictions. By being able to know exactly how much of a nutrient or protein they are receiving, it could dramatically help the recovery process and eliminate risks of over or under eating for patients.
The SmartPlate uses an algorithm created by DJ Lee, a computer engineering professor at Brigham Young University. The algorithm that Lee created has a 99 percent accuracy rating at recognizing objects. It is also able to take the different textures, shapes and colors of food items into account. The long term goal for SmartPlate is for consumers to use the device regularly and consistently for their dietary needs. They are currently working on adding analytics that will give the user the ability to better understand their weekly and monthly records.
By effectively monitoring calorie and carbohydrate intake, SmartPlate limits the risks of bad health for users. SmartPlate is one of many ways technology companies are providing risk management solutions for the medical and health related fields. From hospitals to your home, this device could begin to shape the way consumers look at food and nutrition and use it as a health tool, instead of not understanding its nutritional values.