WMAHSN-supported app to revolutionise fat measurement is launched

Posted on 2 May 2017 (Permalink)

The WMAHSN is delighted to see the official announcement of the launch of the BVI Pro app, a revolutionary alternative to the use of the Body Mass Index (BMI) in healthcare.

The Body Volume Imaging (BVI) Pro app is the world’s first professional app for body volume, specifically measuring total body fat, visceral fat, waist-to-hip ratio, abdomen volume and BMI, as well as providing a unique BVI health indicator number. By simply submitting two photographs, the Select Body Volume Index (BVI) tool uses 3D technology to measure a user’s weight, fat percentage and distribution. 

It targets visceral fat in particular, which is stored within the abdominal cavity around a number of important internal organs, such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines. Higher amounts are associated with an increased risk of health problems. In the West Midlands, around two-thirds of people are overweight, and obesity costs the UK economy more than £3 billion per year. The Select BVI tool aims to help with early detection of visceral fat, transforming the way that people monitor and manage their weight. 

The app, which is based on the world’s most comprehensive collection of Body Composition Data from MRI scans, was developed by Select Research, in collaboration with the Heart of England NHS Trust (HEFT), Aston University, the Mayo Clinic and the Medical Research Council. WMAHSN, along with Medilink, was involved in setting up the initial research and development of BVI in 2007/2008 with HEFT, and the WHAHSN has continued to support the development of BVI since then through the Meridian platform, with West Midlands-based Health Exchange trialling the app with their stakeholders. 

This is the first time that an affordable and easily accessible method has been available to medical professionals to measure a patient or client body volume on a regular basis. Through the BVI Pro app, all data can be uploaded to the professional's patient electronic records to support ongoing measurement tracking. The BVI Pro app further allows anonymous data to be submitted which will continue to validate and improve the accuracy of BVI. The data can be collected anywhere with internet access.

 “It’s been known for many years that just using BMI alone isn’t wholly accurate. Using the BVI assessment tool that we’re trialling is essential to look at new ways of doing things that might support behaviour change in individuals, particularly around managing diabetes and also tackling obesity, which is a huge challenge within this country, especially amongst younger people,” said Jennifer Jones-Rigby, Assistant Director at Health Exchange.

“We collect a lot of data and we see a lot of people face-to-face, so being able to testbed new technology within a safe setting, within a framework, independent of the research organisations, is a critical part of how we’re going to grow as a business. The AHSN has been critical in funding that process for us, to pay for our staffing time and also the tablets through which the BVI scanning process is taking place. That’s been really, really helpful.”

BVI is patented in all 28 European countries and the US, and it is the only app capable of measuring part body volume of a human in 3D. Medical, clinical and fitness professionals can download the BVI Pro app on their iPad tablets via iTunes for a free trial, with the option of in-app purchasing for continued use. More details can be found on www.bodyvolume.com, or you can watch a video of the app in action here