Optical imaging technology for body size and shape analysis: evaluation of a system designed for personal use

Samantha Kennedy, Phoenix Hwaung, Nisa Kelly, Yong E. Liu, Sima Sobhiyeh, Moonseong Heo, John A. Shepherd, Steven B. Heymsfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background/Objectives: Three-dimensional optical (3DO) imaging systems that rapidly and accurately provide body shape and composition information are increasingly available in research and clinical settings. Recently, relatively low-cost and space efficient 3DO systems with the ability to report and track individual assessments were introduced to the consumer market for home use. This study critically evaluated the first 3DO imaging device intended for personal operation, the Naked Body Scanner (NBS), against reference methods. Participants/Methods: Circumferences at six standardized anatomic sites were measured with a flexible tape in 90 participants ranging in age (5–74 years), ethnicity, and adiposity. Regression analysis and Bland-Altman plots compared these direct measurements and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) %fat estimates to corresponding NBS values. Method precision was analyzed from duplicate anthropometric and NBS measurements in a subgroup of 51 participants. Results: The NBS exhibited greater variation in test–retest reliability (CV, 0.4–2.7%) between the six measured anatomic locations when compared with manually measured counterparts (0.2–0.4%). All six device-derived circumferences correlated with flexible tape references (R2s, 0.84–0.97; p < 0.0001). Measurement bias was apparent for three anatomic sites while mean differences were present for five. The NBS’s %fat estimates also correlated with DXA results (R2 = 0.73, p < 0.0001) with no significant bias. Conclusions: This system opens a new era of digital home-based assessments that can be incorporated into weight loss or exercise interventions accessible to clinical investigators as well as individual users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)920-929
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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