Biometric Human Scanning Tools Open World of Uses — From Try-Ons to Telehealth

AHI Talks Smartphone Biometric Human Scanning

Have you heard the one about a guy who’s tired of buying clothes that don’t fit and a physiologist studying injuries in Australian rules football who started brainstorming over a bottle of good wine?

OK, maybe not. But it’s how Advanced Human Imaging (AHI) — smartphone-based human scanning technology — was born. It’s a software platform that uses biometrics and smartphones to help a range of business from retailers to healthcare platforms to insurance companies tailor programs and services to the precise needs of an individual.

As a bodybuilder in his younger days, Vlado Bosanac used to buy clothes online, hoping to find something that would better fit his shape and size. Nine times out of 10, what arrived didn’t fit, so it went back.

Years later, Bosanac happened to meet a sports physiologist who was capturing videos of Australian Football League players, turning them into avatars and using information about subjects’ weight and force to pinpoint exactly how players in the notoriously brutal sport (full contact, no helmets or pads) injured themselves.

“The moment I looked at it, I thought, ‘If you could actually get that to measure the human form, rather than just impact and force, that would be the holy grail of being able to buy something online that fit,’” Bosanac told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster in an interview.

Today, Bosanac is CEO of AHI, which made its Nasdaq debut on Nov. 23. The company offers software developer kits that enable businesses to harness smartphones’ cameras to do body scans, creating apps that help consumers shop for apparel, capture health and wellness data, conduct health assessments and track personal fitness.

“Here we are now with a company that not only measures the human form, but also does a myriad of other things,” Bosanac said. “Clothing, which was the pinnacle of our journey and where we wanted to go, became the very smallest part of what we do now.”

A Truly Tailored Customer Experience

Like so many companies in the mobile space, AHI has seen businesses embrace its technology as they seek to attract and retain customers who’ve grown to see their cellphones as extensions of themselves.

AHI technology, Bosanac said, allows apps to get a very accurate picture of what all those selves look like — a boon for creating high-touch experiences despite social distancing. Bosanac explained that AHI’s scans capture 12,000 physical data points.

In health and fitness, those 12,000 points can deliver an accurate physical assessment dynamically — complete with a body mass index — on the spot, to a clinician or trainer. In retail applications, it can size up customers shopping from home more accurately than a tailor’s tape measure.

And it does it all anonymously, creating an avatar in real time, overlaying data points on it, and deleting the actual image before transferring it.

“In that 30-second capture, they’re used, calculated and removed, and you get an avatar back with all your dimensions,” Bosanac told Webster. “They’re not even in your photo image area, so they haven’t been captured to the phone at all.”

The Full Measure of Usefulness

For Bosanac the bodybuilder, AHI technology could have saved many unhappy returns. And it holds the promise of helping retailers cement customer loyalty by eliminating the guesswork that comes with shopping online.

But developers using AHI’s technology have discovered use cases that could ultimately have more impact on our well-being than assuaging the irritation of figuring out whether we’re a size 2 or 8 at J. Crew this season.

In the telehealth space, AHI provides a web-based camera capability to get vital signs live during the call, it has partnered with a company that enables blood testing capability using a mobile phone, and it’s partnered with another that does dermatology.

Accurate mobile body scans could also help consumers save on health insurance, simplifying the underwriting process by giving insurers an easier way to assess risk, Bosanac said. Over time, with regular scans, it also enables them to reward those they insure for improving their health and reducing their risk of conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

“There are two reasons they may want to do that,” he said. “First, better health outcomes means fewer payouts. But second to that, it actually means stickiness. It means, ‘Hey, Prudential, care for me; UnitedHealthcare, care for me.’ So they’re looking after me day to day, and I don’t pay for that.’”

He said the possibilities are only limited by the imaginations of the companies AHI works with.

“We’re a B2B, so we partner with really smart organizations that want to take care of all the elements of a person’s well-being,” Bosanac said.