3D is finally getting some love in the health segment--specifically the love handle segment. A 3D body scanner in development for 10 years and out this month from U.K. company Select Research, can not only tell how obese you are in relation to what's recommended, but exactly where those numerous high-tea buffets have distributed themselves. Ouch.
Say hello to BVI, or body volume index, and goodbye to BMI, or body mass index, which uses a standard international formula to calculate body weight.
The more detailed BVI system is a 7-foot-tall booth that scans a patient, stripped down to his or her undergarments, using 16 sensors and 32 cameras. In a whopping six seconds, more than 200 linear data measurements of the patient's body are gathered and sent to a secure server to be accessed and analyzed by authorized doctors. An exact "virtual" image of a person's shape is also created. The BVI scanner uses white light but no radiation.
The system, developed in conjunction with Aston University in Birmingham, England; Heartlands NHS Hospital, also in Birmingham; and the Mayo Clinic, scanned over 2,000 test subjects across the United Kingdom, United States, and Europe to fine-tune the norms for fat deposition in various parts of the body according to age, gender, body shape, and body composition. As developed countries face increasingly obese populations, it's hoped that the device will be able to alert doctors to the potential for heart disease, stroke, or diabetes.
"Most people in the world realize that carrying extra weight around the stomach means that they do have a greater health risk, commonly known in healthcare as central obesity," Select Research's Dr. Richard Barnes said. "What BVI now offers the world is a brand new way of measuring the abdominal area which BMI simply cannot do."
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Barnes added that "BMI was never meant to be used as an individual assessment for obesity and we believe that after nearly 200 years, each patient deserves to be measured in a way that takes their own body shape and lifestyle factors into account."
Now, all that's left is to hope that when this comes around to our local doctor's office, we won't get hit with a fat consultation fee.