Smartphone Apps for Tracking Food Consumption and Recommendation: Evaluating Artificial Intelligence-based Functionalities, Features and Quality of Current Apps

Sabiha Samad, Fahmida Ahmed, Samsun Naher, Ashad Kabir, Anik Das, Sumaiya Amin, Sheikh Mohammed Shariful Islam

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Abstract

The advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and the significant growth in the use of food consumption tracking and recommendation-related apps in the app stores have created a need for an evaluation system, as minimal information is available about the evidence-based quality and technological advancement of these apps. Electronic searches were conducted across three major app stores and the selected apps were evaluated by three independent raters. A total of 473 apps were found and 80 of them were selected for review based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. An app rating tool is devised to evaluate the selected apps. Our rating tool assesses the apps essential features, AI based advanced functionalities and software quality characteristics required for food consumption tracking and recommendations, as well as their usefulness to general users. The rating tool’s internal consistency, as well as inter- and intra-rater reliability among raters, are also calculated. Users’ comments from the app stores are collected and evaluated to better understand their expectations and perspectives. Following an evaluation of the assessed applications, design considerations that emphasize automation-based approaches using artificial intelligence are proposed. According to our assessment, most mobile apps in the app stores do not satisfy the overall requirements for tracking food consumption and recommendations. “Foodvisor” is the only app that can automatically recognise food items, and compute the recommended volume and nutritional information of that food item. However, these features need to be improvised in the food consumption tracking and recommendation apps. This study provides both researchers and developers with an insight into current state-of-the-art apps and design guidelines with necessary information on essential features and software quality characteristics for designing and developing a better app.
Original languageEnglish
Article number200103
Number of pages16
JournalIntelligent Systems with Applications
Volume15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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