As students who live with and around those with allergies and dietary restriction, finding food that is safe to eat can be hard. Having to read the microscopic test each time before a product enters our cart can be a choir. For those who are older, it can be too hard to read the text. That is why we wanted to create an app that helps those with dietary restrictions better control their shopping lives and nutritional intake.

What it does

Our site is designed to help people better control their intake of food. By either manually searching or scanning a food barcode, a person can bring up that item’s: allergens, nutritional information, calories and food description.

How we built it

Our front end runs off of basic html5 and css. We also utilized jquery in order to make our css more dynamic (example search bars). There was some javascript used in the front end in order to run a few functions through our forms. For our backend, the web app is built using the Python library Django. We interface with several APIS in order to conduct the product and barcode searches. We use the Spoonacular API to search for product names and information, and the Barcode Lookup API to search for products based on UPC number. Results from the API are cached on the web server such that future requests can be completed faster while also conserving API requests. Barcodes are decoded using the pyzbar library, the result of which is stored and used for the API calls.

Challenges we ran into

This project required us to learn new languages, how to utilize APIs, and how to work as a team. There were also the classic code failures, css errors, and server requests that just did not seem to want to go through.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

“I just started learning coding during quarantine, and Im proud at how far I have come”

  • Brandon Matsumoto

“Working with a team to create an impactful, functional app”

  • Khiem Pham

“Using Django for the first time and not only learning how to make something functional, but also something that looks and works nicely.”

  • Matt Martel

“I am glad I got to learn some python during the time spent working on the project. I have been meaning to start learning it and this gave me the reason to do so.”

  • Jacob Saunders

What we learned

Working on this project taught us how to use new languages, utilize APIs and work as a team. There were a lot of random crashes and errors, but we managed to problem solve through a lot of them.

What's next for Healthez

We would like to continue learning about coding so that we can make this web app into a more usable mobile app. Features that we would have on high priority to include is a live camera scanning app along with dynamic/active charts to breakdown nutritional information. Besides, as a group of friends, we look forward to working in Hackathon 2022.

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