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Health Tech: Measure Body Fat with a Selfie

Body fat is an important predictor of health, but how can you measure it accurately and conveniently? How about using your smarphone?

Next to blood pressure, perhaps the most important measurement to predict your health is your percentage of body fat. The familiar BMI – Body Mass Index – is fairly inaccurate as it just considers height and total weight. There are highly accurate procedures, but these require expensive and complicated clinical equipment. And the smart bathroom scales that measure body fat aren’t very accurate. Amazon has a new solution. Subscribers to the Halo fitness band service have access to a new feature called Body. Just take a series of photos of your body, and it will create a 3D model. From this, it can calculate the percentage of your body fat. Tests at Louisiana State University showed that the Amazon Body feature was more accurate than all but the most expensive clinical device. The system also can show you what your body might look like at different levels of percent body fat. This could be a powerful motivating tool for some users.

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Written by Alfred Poor

Alfred Poor is an "Into Tomorrow" Contributing Correspondent, health tech speaker, writer and the founding Editor of Health Tech Insider: a website and industry newsletter that covers wearable and mobile technology for health and medical applications. With more than 2,400 articles published on the site, he has a broad perspective of where the global industry stands today and where it’s headed... Into Tomorrow.

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