Creating an image-based food tracking tool for people living with MS


Vivienne Guan

University of Wollongong

| Better treatments | Social And Applied Research | Incubator | 2022 | Investigator Led Research |


Goal-setting and appropriate feedback related to dietary intake play critical roles in a person living with MS complying with dietary advice. The tracking of a person’s intake at eating occasions is important when formulating tailored dietary advice. However, due to the impact of symptoms of MS such as fatigue, pain and cognitive issues, the required effort for accurately tracking dietary intake can be particularly challenging for people living with MS. Condition-specific disabilities, such as reduced fine motor skills or blurred vision also need to be considered when using tools for tracking the dietary intake of people living with MS. 

This project builds on previous work exploring MS-specific needs for dietary advice and machine learning. It will specifically focus on combining various new models of machine learning with professional judgement (supported by over 17 years of dietetic practice within the research team) to develop a state-of- the-art automated food recognition system integrated into an app. The app will allow users living with MS to easily track their food consumption by simply taking a picture of their food. This relatively effortless tool can enhance the user’s self-efficacy and self-esteem, reduce stress, improve coping skills and improve general quality of life, with lower costs and greater availability for people who are living with MS. 

Updated: 14 February, 2022

Stages of the research process

Fundamental laboratory

Laboratory research that investigates scientific theories behind the possible causes, disease progression, ways to diagnose and better treat MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 10+ years

Research that builds on fundamental scientific research to develop new therapies, medical procedures or diagnostics and advances it closer to the clinic.

Lab to clinic timeline: 5+ years
Clinical Studies
and Clinical Trials

Clinical research is the culmination of fundamental and translational research turning those research discoveries into treatments and interventions for people with MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 1-5 years


Grant Awarded

  • Incubator Grant

Total Funding

  • $24,790


  • 1.5 years

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Professor Kilpatrick and Professor KalincikDr Yvonne Learmonth

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Creating an image-based food tracking tool for people living with MS