A new app called Child Growth Monitor will rely on Microsoft’s artificial intelligence technology in order to track and solve the problem of malnutrition in India. The app has been rolled out by Welthungerhilfe, one of the largest private aid organizations in Germany, as a pilot project in India.
The app, which is being tested in India first, scan nearly 10,000 children for signs of malnutrition.
Child Growth Monitor is a cloud-based, smartphone app, which will be powered by Microsoft Azure and AI services, according to an official press statement from the company. The app can detect malnutrition signs, which could help health workers in providing better care to these children, who could be struggling from chronic undernourishment.
Welthungerhilfe has partnered with India-based Action Against Hunger to carry out this pilot project in India. Close to 10,000 children under the age of five years will be scanned as part of this project, which is being conducted across the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan till the period of March 2019.
As part of the pilot, there will be 12 teams of 150 trained health workers, who will be using smartphones with the Child Growth Monitor app to collect the data of children. The Child Growth Monitor App relies on infrared sensors in the smartphone to capture 3D measurements of a child’s height, body volume and weight ratio.
This data is then loaded onto the Azure Cloud and the 3D scans are then evaluated by nutritionists and IT specialists using Microsoft’s Azure AI solutions. This is done to analyse the dietary health of the child, and can then be used by the health worker
This data can further be used by field workers to work out nutrition plans and provide children with the ideal vitamins, other nutrition requirements. Microsoft says the app has a learning algorithm, which gets smarter with each measurement.
“Today, more than 800 million people around the world suffer from hunger. You can’t solve hunger, if you don’t know where the hungry people are. Welthungerhilfe envisions the Child Growth Monitor app will emerge as a recognized, global solution among humanitarian organizations. In India alone, that could free up hundreds of millions of dollars for reinvestment into the lives of children,” Jochen Moninger, Innovation Director, Welthungerhilfe said.
“The large amount of complex data requires state-of-the-art technologies to make them usable for Welthungerhilfe. Azure’s AI services provide solutions that continually improve and make decisions on their own,” Susanne Mehrtens, Senior Industry Marketing Manager, Microsoft Germany said in a press statement.