Compass partners with Deloitte on AI tool for aged care nutrition

08 May 2023 Consultancy.com.au 2 min. read

Malnutrition is a serious risk for Australia’s aged care residents, while food wastage continues to grow as a global concern. Deloitte has partnered with food services provider Compass to develop a solution.

Professional services firm Deloitte has teamed up with the Compass Group to develop an AI-driven tool to support the monitoring of food consumption among aged care residents. The MealVision solution is aimed at lowering the risk of malnutrition through an early-warning system, which can otherwise lead to other illnesses and slower recovery times.

According to the tool’s developers, the food tracking technology will also help to reduce overall wastage.

Compass partners with Deloitte on AI tool for aged care nutrition

Deloitte cites a recent study by the Royal Commission of Aged Care Quality & Safety which identified a massive 68% risk of malnutrition among the elderly residents of Australia’s $23.6 billion aged sector, noting the historically complex challenge of tracking food consumption and preferences at such a scale.

The MealVision platform leverages computer vision technology together with artificial intelligence (AI) and the cloud to address the issue.

Developed in conjunction with AerVision, the MealVision scanning unit is equipped with a high-resolution camera, radio frequency identification, and LiDAR, which together identifies the food on a resident’s personally-tagged plate and calculates its volume, both before and after dining. Individual and group data is then fed to the AWS Cloud-hosted platform for AI predictive modelling, the results analysed by Compass staff in real-time.

The rich data source can then be used for a number of benefits, primarily to send alerts to caregivers to mitigate the risk of malnutrition via the adjustment of meal plans or enhanced supervision and encouragement at mealtimes. By tracking the total percentage of food consumed within different categories, the tool can also determine patterns in the residents’ behaviours and the most popular menu items so as to significantly reduce waste.

Described as a game-changer for aged care providers in the maintenance of food consumption standards, the Australian-manufactured first-of-its-kind MealVision scanner and platform has already been adopted in more than a dozen aged care serveries, catering to hundreds of residents. With Compass serving over five billion meals per year in 40 countries, Deloitte states that this early application is only the beginning.

“We were so excited to help solve this food tracking problem,” says James Triggs, a director in Deloitte Consulting. “This solution is revolutionising aged care. It is tackling the issue of malnutrition headfirst, drastically improving the lives and health of the elderly, while also bringing peace of mind to their families. We all know someone living in aged care and it really matters to know they are getting a good quality of life.”