We currently are all in the same psychology course where we learned about eating disorders. We know that eating disorders have serious emotional, medical, and nutritional consequences and haven't seen lots of solutions that aim to tackle this problem.

What it does

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a technique used to help individuals with EDs. Our solution is to provide a real-time “meal buddy” system that employs CBT to help remedy self-defeating thought patterns that contribute to eating disorders. This buddy helps you think through any intrusive thoughts as you eat. This app is easy to use for all and is unbiased because unlike other apps, prompts are open ended. This helps you address the thoughts in the moment.

How we built it

This prototype was built using Figma. We used the Anima plug-in to add the audio options.

Challenges I ran into

We tried to implement a button click counting JavaScript code along with a text input tracking feature with Anima. However, this exported as a .zip file. We used Google Apps Scripts to extract this to a google sheet to allow visualization of this data. However, none of us had enough knowledge of back end development to use some sort of data storage tech like the Rest API to save the number of button clicks. We also attempted to use the Chart plug-in to sync real-time data to figma visualizations, however this endeavour proved to be much more complex than initially thought, with our data not appearing on our demo.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We learned how to use Google Apps Scripts and explored different Figma plugins.

What we learned

We learned a lot about design and how much is possible with Figma.

What's next for MealMate

To further personalize the experience, in the future, we plan to allow users in collaboration with their healthcare providers to enter their own positive messages to play throughout the meal. These positive messages can be tailored to address common negative thought patterns that the patient and healthcare provider have identified.

We’d also like to develop the capability of MealMate to process and respond to audio input from the user, enhancing the sense of companionship provided by the app.

In collaboration with healthcare providers, we would also like to evaluate the impact that our app has on the speed of recovery and on patient satisfaction with the experience. If successful, the MealMate framework may be adapted for recovery from other mental illnesses treated with CBT.

Finally, we think that having a "face" the mate might make more personalized and they may feel less alone during the meal.

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