What is BVI?

From just two photographs, BVI can measure individual body shape. BVI divides the body into seven sections (chest, abdomen, pelvis, arms, legs,) so that the body volume of the different body parts and body composition can be calculated. Using extensive body composition data, weight distribution of people with the same BMI rating can be measured. This allows differentiation between people with the same Body Mass Index (BMI) rating and their weight and body fat distribution.

BVI is a new invention which for the first time allows;-

  • A patient's body shape and body composition to be measured without any radiation or intervention. 
  • The differences in body shape between patients to be measured.
  • Tracking of an individual’s data over time to assess changes in a patient's body shape.
  • Measurement of total body fat and visceral fat to be obtained by combining a person’s 3D shape with their medical statistics, height, weight, age, gender and levels of fitness.

What are the limitations of BMI?

  • BMI was invented almost 200 years ago in 1830 by Belgian statistician Adolphe Quetelet as a broad guide of obesity for public health purposes.
  • BMI does not take into account age, weight distribution or the fact that muscle weighs more than fat.Therefore, healthy, muscular men and women can be incorrectly classified as being overweight.
  • BMI does not distinguish between men and women with different body shapes and heights, who have the same BMI.

The image in the header above shows 8 women all with a BMI of 30, therefore all classified as obese.

However they carry their weight in different places, only those with the majority of their weight around the abdomen would be seen to carry a health risk. Others have more weight around the pelvis and thighs, known as subcutaneous fat which is not a risk to health. These people have less weight around  the abdominal area, so less risk to their health.

With BVI , these women are not classified as the same, because some have more visceral fat than others.depending on their age and weight distribution, so their potential health risks will be different.

How does BVI take the measurements?

BVI data is captured using photos, which then are processed as silhouettes through the BVI software which has been developed over the past 15 years to capture the body in 3D and extract both linear and volumetric measurements. It is effectively a 'Human Photocopier' - achieving measurements that simply can't be measured by human hand.

The silhouette and 3D data is saved on a secure server anonymously to be accessed by authorised healthcare professionals, and the photographs are deleted as soon as the silhouettes have been created. It takes less than a minute to receive an infinite combination of measurements for healthcare analysis, including BMI, Waist to Hip Ratio and Waist Circumference, the most commonly used manual measurements today.

For more about the history of BVI click here.