What is BVI?

BVI stands for the Body Volume Index and unlike the Body Mass Index (BMI), which just uses height and weight, BVI focusses on what’s inside us, not on the outside.


BMI was invented in 1842 and like most things that old is now well past it’s sell by date. To be fair to the Belgium mathematician who invented it, BMI was only ever intended to be used for collect general population statistics, not to measure the health risk of a particular person.


Developed over the past 12 years, BVI is based on a simple concept which is easy to understand just with the human eye. People do have an obsession about ‘weight’ and we often ask ourselves – “How much do I weigh?” - “How much weight have I lost”“Am I fatter or fitter than other people like me”. These questions that can eat away at us, they can anger and frustrate us, but provide no easy solution for us.



Scans of 8 women with the same BMI of 30

Scans of 8 women with the same BMI of 30


BVI looks at where the weight is and so helps us to understand what extra or less weight there is in a given part of the body and what that means for your overall health. With BMI, two people of exactly the same height and height can have completely different body shapes, meaning their different weight distribution means different risks to their long-term health. That is where BVI comes in.


To provide solutions that actually work, BVI provides answers this problem in two ways:-

  1. Using algorithms created from extensive and real body composition data, the latest technology and extensive validation from some of the world’s leading healthcare scientists, the myBVI app provides body composition data based on someone’s weight distribution and their body shape. This includes predictions on visceral fat; an accepted and recognised indicator of health risk, normally collected by using expensive and static machines.

  2. What this means for your future health and risk prediction is then covered by the BVI-Risk app, funded and delivered with the insurance industry. This app provides a new key marker of health risk and new data for a true assessment of an individual’s risk that BMI just cannot provide. Once the insurance industry has deployed BVI at scale, we will ensure it becomes available for you; something for your medical records, for your own understanding of your risk and a new perspective to help you along on your health journey.

BMI is great because it is simple – everyone knows their height and weight, but that’s about it. It doesn’t really tell YOU anything.


With BVI, new mobile and camera advances allow us to deliver a new solution where data has been collected in over 77 countries so far with trials currently underway in remote areas of India, Africa and elsewhere. Static body composition machines are just not available there and show how using smartphones can make universal use of BVI a real possibility.



The world has changed a lot since BMI in 1842 and since BVI landed in 2007, we hope this helps to tell the journey of how BVI got to you in 2021.


Thank you for downloading the myBVI app and joining us on the next part of that journey. Hopefully this new way of thinking about ourselves will provide new insights for you that will help on your own journey through life.