This week at the GeekWire Summit, Sue Desmond-Hellmann (CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), discussed AutoAnthro’s 3D body scanning technology.
Desmond-Hellmann highlighted AutoAnthro as an example of innovative technology being used in the fight against stunting and malnutrition.
Follow this link to jump to the AutoAnthro portion of the interview.
September 26, 2018
Contact: Gene Alexander
Breakthrough Technology Enables Digital Scanning for Child Nutritional Status
NEW YORK, NY Sep 2018- AutoAnthro, a product of Body Surface Translations (BST), was showcased at the second annual Goalkeepers Event in New York City today. This new technology will enable public health workers around the globe to accurately and easily capture children’s height/length and head and arm circumference, which are key inputs to monitoring growth and understanding malnutrition and even intervening to prevent stunting.
AutoAnthro is a cloud-based hardware and software system which performs a 3-D scan of a child in a matter of moments. It is both easy to use and accurate and enables the user to automatically capture data, aggregate it, and analyze it. Traditional anthropometry, the science of measuring human proportions, involves using a tape measure and positioning a child flat on a board while extending their legs, a process that is cumbersome and can upset the child and parent.
“We’re excited to assist in attaining the Goalkeepers objective of good health and well-being for children worldwide” says Gene Alexander, Chief Technology Officer of BST. “We believe 3D imaging systems can make the difficult job of health workers easier. Long-term, we think this will become the standard of care globally and as more and more data is captured, it will allow public health officials to find hotspots of undernutrition and evaluate appropriate interventions more effectively.”
Around the world, roughly one in four children under five has low height for age, a condition known as stunting, which causes developmental impairment that can negatively affect both physical well-being and intellectual capacity.
BST received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2014 to adapt a pre-existing technology for young children and test it in partnership with Emory University. At the conclusion of that successful development and controlled trial, the Foundation funded an independent field study of the technology with the US Centers for Disease Control in Guatemala and Kenya. Those trials are currently in process, with the Guatemala study work using AutoAnthro described at Goalkeepers 2018.
In a journal article published in Maternal & Child Nutrition on September 8, 2018, the authors compared AutoAnthro to traditional anthropometry. They observed that “crying was more common during manual measurement, and anthropometrist interviews confirmed that 3D imaging was less stressful for children than manual measurement.”
In November 2017, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded a grant to the CDC Foundation to “evaluate the suitability of a new imaging technology, the AutoAnthro system from Body Surface Translations, Inc., for assessing recumbent length and height among children ages six to 59 months in a minimum of two national surveillance/survey settings.”
Details of the grant can be found here.
In Sight and Life Magazine’s latest publication, authors David Boyle, Katharine Kreis and Laura Anderson from PATH, mentioned AutoAnthro as one of the “innovative products promis[ing] to dramatically improve field-based measurement of nutritional status, particularly in low-resource settings.”
Body Surface Translations, Inc. was mentioned in a recent peer-reviewed article in PLOS, entitled “Improving the quality of child anthropometry: Manual anthropometry in the Body Imaging for Nutritional Assessment Study (BINA)”.
“[W]e conclude that [Body Imaging for Nutritional Assessment] can provide a valuable evaluation of 3D imaging for child anthropometry because there is comparison to gold-standard, manual measurements.”