Alistair McEwan of The University of Sydney in Australia will develop a simple, low-cost electronic device built from recycled LEDs and microcontrollers to measure subcutaneous fat levels and thereby determine nutritional status in infants. Current methods are expensive or require a trained health worker, and as such are unsuitable for use particularly in developing countries. In Phase I, they performed several design iterations leading to the production of a low-cost prototype that was used for a small trial in newborns. The results revealed a good correlation with the gold standard method for measuring body fat percentage. In Phase II they will expand this trial and further optimize the device design. In addition, they will develop an algorithm to display the result using simple colored lights for use by untrained individuals.
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