Tandon Students Use Augmented Reality to Help New Mothers Stay Healthy

Tandon graduate students Tue Lu and Zhongheng Li presented their app MealPic at the Publicis Health + NYC Media Lab Demo Day. Photo Credit: Amy Chen

At the NYC Media Lab’s recent demo day for the Publicis Health "Digital Health Augmented Reality (AR) Startup Bootcamp," a team from NYU Tandon, along with four other university teams, presented their prototyping projects that merge augmented reality with healthcare. Designed over the six-week bootcamp, the projects aim to provide patients with greater insight into their health and address various healthcare challenges. 

The team of NYU Tandon graduate students focused on how to leverage the ubiquity of smartphones with newer technology like computer vision and AR. At the demo day, Tue Lu (Management of Technology), Youxing Gao (Computer Science), and Zhongheng Li (Computer Science) presented their mobile app, MealPic, which helps new and expecting mothers make informed decisions about their nutrition and food choices. After meeting and creating an early prototype of MealPic at the 2017 HackNYU competition (where the team took home the prize for the Healthcare Track), Lu, Gao, and Li were selected to join the Digital Health AR bootcamp where they were supported by Publicis Groupe, Digitas Health, and Publicis Health through professional advising and funding.

“After interviewing about 50 people, including our target users, medical professionals, and technologists, we designed our mobile food query app that uses computer vision, augmented reality, and machine learning to bring the powerful convenience of online product insights to real-world, brick and mortar food shopping for mothers,” Lu said. “Our image recognition (relying on open platforms such as Clarifai) makes identifying foods easy, augmented reality provides quick visual references and comparisons, and machine learning seamlessly personalizes content specific to each user’s unique health needs.”

MealPic aims to empower women by promoting nutrition before, during, and after pregnancy. By tailoring peer and professional product reviews, suggestions, and nutrition insights to each woman’s dietary needs, restrictions, and preferences, MealPic’s digital companion helps women quickly and easily make more informed food decisions.

Lu, Gao, and Li credit their advisers in the NYC Media Lab and Publicis Health, including Justin Hendrix, NYC Media Lab Executive Director, and Richard Schwartz, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Connected Health Partnerships at Publicis Health, as well as the numerous customer interviews towards advancing their company and product. “The program really pushed us to better understand and evaluate the core values we were trying to deliver,” Lu said.

Demo your Project

If you have a product or application you want to demo, apply to participate in the NYC Media Lab’s 2017 Summit Demo Expo, New York City's biggest pan-university showcase of the year. The most innovative work will be awarded $25,000!

NYC Media Lab will select demo participants on a rolling basis. The earlier you apply, the more likely it is that you will be selected. The application deadline is Friday, September 8, 2017.

Apply for Demo Expo


Camila Ryder
Graduate School of Arts and Science
Master of Arts in English Literature, Class of 2018