I was inspired by the struggles of my family members, many of which struggle with Diabetes or metabolic issues such as Hypothyroidism. Since mobile apps are a convenient way to track different aspects of our lives and most people carry their devices on them, I decided that an app to track the glycolic levels of foods could help predict extremely high or low blood sugar levels in diabetics. Diabetic shock is no laughing matter, and being able to prevent health issues by keeping track of daily blood sugar levels could potentially save lives.
What it does
Metabolity may appear as your run-of-the-mill meal tracking app for avid calorie counters to swoon over, but it packs so much more! The iOS, Android, and web-compatible app features custom recipe adding, meal and macro tracking, in addition to a glucose-indexing (GI) calculator. Glucose, the sugars within carbohydrates, have a major impact on blood sugar levels as they're broken down; this makes them incredibly important to diabetics, who must maintain certain blood sugar levels as their pancreas' don't provide any or enough insulin to their bodies.
How we built it
I built Metabolity using Google's Flutter API and Kotlin in Android Studios. There are separate, animated pages that contribute to the overall aesthetic and functionality of the app. For example, the meal_logging.dart file compiles recipes and nutritional information and the profile_screen.dart page acts as the home screen where all widgets (the containers that act as buttons or "storage" for commnds/graphics) are located. Graphics for the logo were created by me and any sample recipes within the app are credited to Google Images (under Creative Commons Licensing).
Challenges we ran into
Researching the impacts of diabetes on individuals and how to calculate glycolic levels took a large portion of time, as I wanted to make sure I was adequately and respectfully addressing the issues people face in their daily lives. Little to no knowledge of calculating glycolic levels in a formulaic way was readily available outside of the University of Sydney, further limiting the scope of my research. Additionally, issues with using an old version of Flutter and newer plugins caused problems as soon as I started programming. Bugs from that point onward were minimal, but reconfiguring the front-end code to be readable was also an obstacle.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
I'm very proud of the calculator widget, which took about 3 hours to perfect, and the animated widgets on the home screen. All together, the UI not only looks and feels amazing, but functions properly with no major glitches or hiccups in the code.
What we learned
I learned a lot about the different Flutter docs while integrating different functionalities into the app. Additionally, I also learned a lot about biochemistry and biomedical technologies in my research about diabetes and diseases that impact blood sugar regulation. I'd definitely like to continue exploring and innovating off of these topics, as they provide a lot of opportunities for growth and groundbreaking discovery.
What's next for Metabolity
Before launching the app on the App Store and Google Play Store, I'd like to integrate graphing abilities within the app using Firebase or MatLab and add more glycolic indexing tools to the calculator. It's currently rudimentary, given the time constraints, but with some fine-tuning and a solid Business Plan I know this application could truly grow and help people.