Seniors rely on a specific diet in their old age to maintain not only their physical health, but their mental health as well. 30% of seniors tend to skip at least one meal a day due to forgetfulness or even financial burden. Not monitoring their diet can lead to malnutrition which effects 15–50% of the elderly in North America.

Nursing homes aim to serve the elderly but in terms of nutrition, the problem of skipping meals is still present due to bland, routine food. Approximately 20% of nursing home residents suffer some form of malnutrition. Furthermore, wrong orders in nursing homes can be fatal because of a senior individual’s allergy. Seniors need to be on a meal plan in which they participate in the planning and their preferences are taken into account.

Having experienced the effects of bad nutritional health in the elderly second-hand through our family members, we chose seniors as our target audience for this health focused project.

What it does

Vital is a system where caretakers can track their assigned patients’ nutritional health, build personal connections with patients through meal planning, as well as ease any worries a patients’ family members may have by sending regular reports. All in order to make sure seniors have good nutritional health in their old ages.

Some of Vital's solutions include:

  • Tracking nutritional health & visually displaying data for caretaker to understand
  • User is assigned patients every day, establishing a familiarity with certain patients and allowing them to build relationships during meal planning
  • Meal planning section allows patient to build relationship with caretaker, improving mood and at the same time appetite.
  • Rating system allows seniors to choose favourite meals or ingredients, making the process of meal planning simpler as the app is used more.
  • Vital info is displayed such as seat number in the dining room, allergies, any current medical conditions or ailments and suggestions in how to alleviate.

How we built it

Using Sketch, we designed the overall appearance of the app after solidifying its concept. Sympli, an Android Studio plugin, was used to transfer over the design specifications to create our working prototype.

Challenges we ran into

Due to the buggy Android Studio IDE, we encountered many errors during deployment onto our mobile devices. This caused a lot of frustration and problem solving skills to figure out how to fix the errors.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud of learning a new technology that some of our team members have not yet experienced. Android application development can be challenging at times, but with the constant assistance between members it became a fun challenge to work with.

What we learned

We learned that time management is extremely vital to creating a prototype for any project, whether it during a small or large allotted amount of time. Communication is also another important tool that must be used effectively to take a project from planning to prototyping.

What's next for Vital

We hope to develop more flows within our application and consider porting it over to multiple platforms so that it can be easily accessible to those in need.

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