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Thailand’s FoodPrompt Smart Tech Enhancing Elderly Nutrition 

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As individuals approach old age, their bodies undergo various changes, particularly in terms of health, which becomes increasingly apparent. These changes, coupled with factors such as reduced appetite, difficulty in eating, malabsorption, alterations in body systems, and socioeconomic factors, contribute to a higher risk of malnutrition among the elderly.

When discussing malnutrition, the common association is often images of starving people in distant lands. However, this critical issue is ubiquitous and is prevalent within all communities,  across the globe. One population, particularly at risk, is the elderly, who frequently require hospitalisation or reside in long-term care facilities, amplifying their vulnerability to malnutrition. In light of this, researchers at Chiang Mai University (CMU) have developed ‘FoodPrompt’ technology – a powerful tool to address nutritional needs.

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FoodPromt stands out as a smart solution for personalised nutrition support and food fabrication. With its ability to create customised food using a 3D food printer and an intuitive application that empowers users to select flavours and shapes, this groundbreaking technology is particularly well-suited for individuals with malnutrition, most notably elderly patients who are already vulnerable.

Research indicates that the incidence of malnutrition among hospitalised elderly individuals ranges from 12% to 50%, while among institutionalised older adults, it can range from 23% to 60%, highlighting the heightened susceptibility of the elderly to malnutrition.

Recognising the significance of malnutrition among the elderly, the researchers at CMU identified that this condition is often neglected and not promptly addressed, leading to severe consequences, underscoring the importance of providing adequate support, particularly in terms of nutrition, for the elderly population.

FoodPrompt was developed by a team to seamlessly incorporate advancements from multiple fields. Its primary goal is to address the needs of individuals afflicted by malnutrition, with a particular emphasis on providing tailored support to vulnerable elderly patients.

Through the utilisation of advanced data analytics, machine learning algorithms, and state-of-the-art fabrication techniques, FoodPrompt endeavours to tailor nutrition plans and meal compositions to the specific requirements and preferences of everyone. By doing so, it aspires to foster optimal nutritional outcomes and enhance the overall well-being of elderly patients afflicted by malnutrition.

This new personalised technology is effective, as it has a nutritional assessment system that creates customised food using IoT. When accessing this platform, users are required to provide their data, which will be linked to the developed food fabrication system, specifically designed to create highly nutritious meals tailored to the needs of the target group.

Every user can use this technology and select the food of their choice. For instance, consumption analysis has an integrated system capable of identifying the types of food, the number of ingredients and consumption. Afterwards, it enables the user to compare the crucial nutrients based on the user’s database.

Additionally, the application allows users to select the flavours and shapes using a 3D food printer. Ultimately, patients can get enough nutrients while enjoying their high-nutrient favourite food with various flavours based on what they like.

This holistic approach facilitated by FoodPrompt will enable a comprehensive response to the intricate challenges posed by malnutrition, effectively catering to the specific requirements of the target group, elderly people. By seamlessly harnessing cutting-edge research with practical implementation, FoodPrompt proves CMU’s commitment to leveraging innovative technology to solve daily problems.


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