Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

eButton health monitor gets a facelift

Date:
September 9, 2013
Source:
University of Pittsburgh
Summary:
A wearable, picture-taking health monitor has received a recent facelift. Now, in addition to documenting what a person eats, the eButton prototype can accurately match those images against a geometric-shape library, providing a much easier method for counting calories.

A wearable, picture-taking health monitor created by University of Pittsburgh researchers has received a recent facelift. Now, in addition to documenting what a person eats, the eButton prototype can accurately match those images against a geometric-shape library, providing a much easier method for counting calories. (a: eButton's size and look; b: the inside operating system of eButton; c: a participant eating while wearing eButton).
Credit: University of Pittsburgh

A wearable, picture-taking health monitor created by University of Pittsburgh researchers has received a recent facelift. Now, in addition to documenting what a person eats, the eButton prototype can accurately match those images against a geometric-shape library, providing a much easier method for counting calories.

Published in Measurement Science and Technology, the Pitt study demonstrates a new computational tool that has been added to the eButton -- a device that fastens to the shirt like a pin. Using its newly built comprehensive food-shape library, the eButton can now extract food from 2D and 3D images and, using a camera coordinate system, evaluate that food based on shape, color, and size.

"Human memory of past eating is imperfect," said Mingui Sun, lead investigator and Pitt professor of neurological surgery and bioengineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering. "Visually gauging the size of a food based on an imaginary measurement unit is very subjective, and some individuals don't want to track what they consume. We're trying to remove the guess work from the dieting process."

eButton -- which is built with a low-power central processing unit, a random-access memory communication interface, and an Android operating system -- now includes a library of foods with nine common shapes: cuboid, wedge, cylinder, sphere, top and bottom half spheres, ellipse, half ellipse, and tunnel. The device snaps a series of photos while a person is eating, and its new formula goes to work: removing the background image, zeroing in on the food, and measuring its volume by projecting and fitting the selected 3D shape to the 2D photograph using a series of mathematical equations.

The Pitt team tested their new design on 17 popular favorites like jelly, broccoli, hamburgers, and peanut butter. Using a Logitech webcam, they captured five high-resolution images at different locations on diners' plates. Likewise, they applied the eButton to real-world dining scenarios in which diners were asked to wear the eButton on their chests, recording their eating. For each image, the eButton's new configuration method was implemented to automatically estimate the food portion size after the background was removed. To account for eaters leaving food behind, the Pitt team analyzed the last photograph taken during a meal. This leftover food was estimated and subtracted from the original portion size, as documented by earlier photographs.

"For food items with reasonable shapes, we found that this new method had an average error of only 3.69 percent," said Sun. "This error is much lower than that made by visual estimations, which results in an average error of about 20 percent."

While Sun and his colleagues were pleased with the results, there were three common foods that presented problems: ketchup, haddock, and ice cream. Because the properties of these provisions can change, results varied. Also, varying cooking techniques presented mixed consistencies, Sun said.

Even though the eButton is still not available commercially, Sun hopes to get it on the market soon. He and his team are now fine-tuning the device, working toward improving the accuracy of detecting portion sizes for irregularly shaped foods.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hsin-Chen Chen, Wenyan Jia, Yaofeng Yue, Zhaoxin Li, Yung-Nien Sun, John D Fernstrom, Mingui Sun. Model-based measurement of food portion size for image-based dietary assessment using 3D/2D registration. Measurement Science and Technology, 2013; 24 (10): 105701 DOI: 10.1088/0957-0233/24/10/105701

Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh. "eButton health monitor gets a facelift." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130909131224.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh. (2013, September 9). eButton health monitor gets a facelift. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130909131224.htm
University of Pittsburgh. "eButton health monitor gets a facelift." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130909131224.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins