MotivATE, a team of students from UCF College of Medicine led by PI Dr. David Metcalf from UCF IST, is developing a mobile app that will allow people to create a photo food diary. By combining behavior change techniques, game-like elements and crowdsourced nutrition guidance the app will help consumers modify their diet to lose weight and reach other health and fitness goals.
Behavior motivation-inspired app makes it easier to eat healthy—MotivAte team
Whether you’ve been instructed to do so by your doctor, or it’s something you’ve decided to do on your own, adhering to a healthy diet can be a challenge. In this effort, your doctor or diet plan may require you to document everything you eat and drink … sometimes down to the ingredient, ounce or calorie.
The documentation process, however, is prone to errors. You can record inaccurate information, you might not be consistent logging information, or you might lose interest and stop documenting all together. UCF I-Corps team member MotivAte believes it can make the process easier, fun and more effective—through the use of photos and friendly social feedback.
The MotivAte team is developing a mobile app that will allow users to create a photo-based food diary. By combining behavior change techniques, game-like elements and crowdsourced nutrition guidance, the app will help users modify their diet to lose weight and reach other health and fitness goals.
“Our behavior motivation-inspired app not only makes it easier to track food intake, but also adds a positive-reinforcement social component to make the experience enjoyable and fun,” said UCF medical student Brian Mayrsohn, Entrepreneurial Lead for the team.
The team, which in addition to Mayrsohn includes UCF School of Visual Arts and Design faculty member Daniel V. Novatnak, Principal Investigator, medical student team members Zoran Pavlovic and Alex Eskandari, industry veteran and Mentor Shawn Bercuson, software engineer Vijay Budhram, and animator Chris Hendrix-Buxton, has already developed a prototype. A user takes a picture of the food item that will be eaten and uploads it into the app. There, the user’s invited network of friends can rate the nutritional value of the food. Based on these ratings, the user earns “game” points and other motivational incentives to help encourage healthy food choices.
“The UCF I-Corps program is helping our team to better determine our target customer base,” said Mayrsohn. “Participating in the program will help us develop our business acumen and fine tune our product strategy.”