Modeling and Simulation PROJECTS
Traditional methods for quantifying malnutrition in children involve physical handling of subjects, can be time-consuming and are susceptible to inaccuracy because they require enumerators to interpret the value. Kimetrica has developed an application called Methods for Extremely Rapid Observation of Nutritional Status (MERON) that could allow for a non-invasive, time efficient, and tamper-proof approach to assessing the malnutrition status of an individual by using a facial recognition and processing algorithm.
Kimetrica will refine and test this application using anthropometric data from various sites in Kenya in children under the age of five years (6-59 months old). In cooperation with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Ministry of Health (MOH), Kimetrica will calibrate the tool against the traditional standards for nutritional monitoring and then evaluate the accuracy, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness of the approach. The training and testing of the model will be complete by July 2018.
If the trail is successful then MERON could offer the following benefits:
1. An increase in the accuracy of data collected with regards to malnutrition status;
2. A reduction in resources related to the training of enumerators;
3. Use of inconspicuous measurement tools;
4. Use of less invasive (in some cultures) measurement techniques.
These benefits could, in turn, result in a number of important outcomes for the diagnosis and treatment of malnutrition in children under five. These include:
1. More appropriate distribution of funding and scarce resources based on accurate measurements;
2. Savings in resources (resources used for training of enumerators in taking accurate weight for height measurements; transportation of bulky equipment and opportunity cost for communities participating in surveys);
3. Easier data collection in hard to access high risk/conflict areas and in areas where physical handling of children is culturally not acceptable.
MERON was presented at the Artificial Intelligence for Good Global Summit held in Geneva in May 2018 (Watch the interview ) and has featured in the Smithsonian, New Scientist, Daily Mail and Detusch Wella.