Included in the Body Volume Index API October 2022 release was the new BVI Risk Indicator. This feature gives an output indicative of an individual's metabolic health risk, given in quartiles of risk.
Metabolic Syndrome is defined as Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Hypertension and BVI, in comparison to the Body Mass Index (BMI) in a trial of 1,200 patients was shown to be 19% more accurate at predicting the metabolic syndrome than BMI.
Understanding BVI: Moving Beyond Total Weight
BVI's approach to health assessment is markedly different from just using BMI. BMI relies solely on an individual's total weight and height, but BVI delves deeper by examining where weight is distributed across different body sections through:
Digital Body Division: With just two digital images, that can be taken in someone’s own home, BVI can divide an individual's body ‘digitally’ into seven distinct sections: the left arm, right arm, left leg, right leg, the abdomen, the pelvis and the chest. This creates a new digital ‘map’ of the body and its shape.
Weight Distribution Analysis: BVI, by using extensive body composition data can then accurately determine where an individual's weight is distributed within these sections
Predicting Health Risk with BVI
The magic and simplicity behind BVI's predictive power is in the ability to analyse the relationship between torso volume and limb volume of a given person and deduce what that means. This relationship is crucial because most physical activities aim to increase arm and leg volume while reducing torso volume. Sports and exercises such as soccer, rugby, tennis, cycling, and aerobics all involve moving the arms and legs—a fundamental aspect of improving overall health.
BMI overly simplifies health assessment by only considering total weight, however, BVI recognises that muscle weighs more than fat. Therefore, when someone engages in physical activities to reduce their BMI, their BMI number may increase because of increased muscle mass. BVI's ability to measure part-volumes of the body allows it to distinguish between muscle and fat, offering a more accurate assessment of an individual's health risk.
The Advantages of BVI
Enhanced Prediction: The BVI Risk Indicator outperforms BMI in terms of predicting metabolic risk, which includes conditions like Type 2 diabetes, Hypertension, and Cardiovascular Disease. The above-mentioned longitudinal study conducted by Mayo Clinic found that the BVI Risk Indicator offers a 19% more accurate prediction of metabolic risk compared to BMI.
Scientific Rigour: The development of the BVI Risk Indicator involved meticulous research and analysis from 2007 to 2022. Initially, various combinations of body volumes were examined before the final Body Volume Index was created. This rigorous approach ensures that the BVI Risk Indicator is a reliable and robust tool for the future.
The Body Volume Index (BVI) is a significant step forward in the assessment of health risk.
By recognising and considering the importance of weight distribution, BVI offers a more accurate prediction of metabolic health risk than the traditional BMI. With its innovative technology and scientific foundation, BVI has the potential to reshape how we evaluate and understand our health and to identify the health risks of individuals better than before.
As we embrace this new digital era of health assessment, we can move closer to a future where precise health evaluations are conducted from patients’ own homes, using their own smartphone devices.
Medina-Inojosa, B. J. M., Somers, V. K., Medina-Inojosa, J., Johnson, L. A., & Lopez-Jimenez, F. (2022). PREDICTION OF METABOLIC SYNDROME USING REGIONAL BODY VOLUMES MEASURED USING A MULTISENSORY WHITE-LIGHT 3-D SCANNER. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 79(9_Supplement), 2028-2028. https://www.jacc.org/doi/full/10.1016/S0735-1097%2822%2903019-4