Mobile Application Development students creating platform to provide healthier food options for hospital patients

Hospital food is famously awful and there is a certain negative stigma attached to food being served to patients. In fact, 29% of patients leave the hospital malnourished—a staggering number! Simon Lizotte, Liam Goodwin and Carmen Kerim, current students from the Mobile Application Development Program at St. Clair College, are currently in the process of developing a solution to this ‘hospital food’ problem with the hopes of not only changing people’s perceptions about hospital food, but more importantly, to give patient’s access to healthier options. The project all began at Hacking Health Windsor-Detroit, a collaborative event that engages key groups of stakeholders to create solutions to healthcare challenges. Liam and Carmen decided they wanted to participate in the event. They ended up meeting Simon, formed a group and came up with this idea regarding patient care—to refine the way patients order food at the hospital. Ultimately, their idea landed them 1st prize at Hacking Health as well as the People’s Choice award. This included entry into EPICentre’s Founders Program, where students and alumni are paid to work on their startup over the course of a semester. Simon, Liam and Carmen eventually came up with a name for their new venture—MedMeals! They started building the first prototype of their application over the summer months and, by the time they began the EPIC Fall Founders program in September, they were already working on a second prototype which incorporated feedback from potential users and stakeholders. MedMeals is now focused on developing a fully functional application for patients and hospitals that will help facilitate and expedite the food ordering process in a hospital setting or long-term care facility. Currently, patients either don’t get a choice regarding what they can eat or have to order from a specific menu. With this new application, however, patients will now be able to order from a variety of different options based on their own medical history. This would solve a number of current issues. First, this new process is guaranteed to reduce food waste. If patients don’t have an option regarding what they can order, they might not eat the food and it would go to waste. Further, the application would also ensure that patients are not leaving the hospital malnourished. Another value provided by the application is with regards to providing nutritional information that the hospital normally would not be able to provide in full detail. This allows the application to act as a teaching tool and encourage patients to make healthier food choices based on the patient’s current medical condition. The platform will also help free up time for medical professionals since patients will be able to order the food themselves without assistance. Currently, the MedMeals team is finishing up their latest prototype and plan on doing beta testing with smaller, local healthcare facilities in order to obtain feedback and make improvements. For anyone interested in MedMeals, you can contact them at: Med Meals Logo