Researchers at University of Alabama are currently developing a new wearable device that can automatically track and quantify diet of the wearer, thereby providing accurate data to medical professionals instead of self reporting which could be inaccurate in some cases.
Called the Automatic Ingestion Monitor, the device is similar to a Bluetooth headset device and is worn around the ear. The device is fitted with a camera in the front to capture images of the food items that goes into the mouth and there is also a jaw motion sensor to detect the motion of the jaw.
The device is also able to distinguish between different jaw motions so that conversations are not mistaken for meals.
"Weight gain comes from an unbalance of the energy we take in versus the energy we expend. We can estimate diet and nutrient intake, but the primary method is self-reporting. The sensor could provide objective data, helping us better understand patterns of food intake associated with obesity and eating disorders", lead researcher Dr Edward Sazonov said.