Just take a “selfie” using your phone and an app can tell the fat percentage of your body weight. That is the future of healthcare says ICMIF member LocalTapiola.
ICMIF member LocalTapiola (Finland), in collaboration with a number of project partners, is investigating an image analysis solution which utilises new artificial intelligence capabilities and its potential use for LocalTapiola customers. With this image analysis application on a mobile phone, customers can make an initial assessment of their health status. The mobile app provides an estimate of a person’s body mass index (BMI), fat percentage and average blood pressure using just a facial image. The service targets a number of measuring points on the face, which are used to calculate the results. In addition to the image, the only information required by the app to make the analysis is the person’s age and gender.
In the future, these virtual health checks will also be able to give a forecast of a person’s life span and, among other things, to evaluate skin abnormalities such as moles.
The possibilities of such a new image analysis solution are currently being studied by LocalTapiola in collaboration with a number of partner organisations. If the testing phase produces safe and reliable results, LocalTapiola will then assess the possibilities of offering this as a solution to its customers as part of LocalTapiola’s Terveyshelppi application in the autumn of 2019. Terveyshelppi is a digital health service available via iOS and Android devices for LocalTapiola personal insurance clients, which enables the client to receive a medical advice service whenever required. Through the same contact point, the customer can also initiate a claim for compensation.
This type of image analysis is not medically diagnostic, says LocalTapiola, but its results are indicative and are intended to help customers monitor their own health. The organisation says it wants to make all health indicators easily accessible and understandable to its members.
“Our goal is to provide proactive health services that help our customers live healthy lives for many years. We would like to remind people that through our own choices we can significantly influence our own well-being. Digitalisation is a natural way for our customers to enjoy greater security of life and health,” says Harri Aho, Development Director at LocalTapiola.
Working as a virtual team from Kainuu in Finland to Australia
The new personal health image analysis service is a joint effort of five different organisations and by a genuine virtual team. The project partners have never physically been in the same place at the same time. The project team includes representatives from LocalTapiola, Valossa Oy, Herman IT, Kustannus Oy Duodecim and the Macquarie University in Australia.
Each party has brought its unique expertise to the project. Valossa Oy produces technology for automatic identification of facial images, and Herman IT supplies data centre services. The health analysis models are from Macquarie University and Lifetime Forecasts, and Kustannus Oy Duodecim produces health self-care guidelines. LocalTapiola’s HealthHelp service brings together the results of the analysis collected by the various elements of the app, each provided by these different companies, and presents information from the different sources as one entity through the app.
LocalTapiola does not have access to any customer’s health data produced by the solution and does not use the information in any way. The analysis for each customer is done in a secure data centre using a third-party server.
“The results of the analysis are presented only to the person who took his/her own picture using the app. We would recommend that anyone who has any health concerns should contact a healthcare professional such as the one available for LocalTapiola customers through its existing Terveyshelppi app,” Harri Aho emphasized.
The Terveyshelppi app provides a facility for LocalTapiola customers to contact a nurse or doctor every day from 07:00 to 23:00 either via the chat facility or by making a phone call to the service.
LocalTapiola states that the doctors contacted via the Terveyshelppi app are able to diagnose and treat most conditions remotely, making everyday life for its customers considerably easier.
Development Director Harri Aho (pictured above on the right) presented this new image analysis app at the SuomiAreena event, a public debate forum held in July in the city of Pori, Finland. Organizers of the SuomiAreena event consists of ministries, governmental and municipal organizations, NGOs, labour market organizations, political parties, companies etc. The discussion topics relate to politics, society, culture and sports. Along with Finnish activists, politicians and other influential people, SuomiAreena has a large number of international participants. Notable international guests have been the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso and Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.