This AI-Powered App Detects Vitamin Deficiencies
Sat, April 10, 2021

This AI-Powered App Detects Vitamin Deficiencies

Vita-Cam, an AI-powered app, can discover what vitamins a person's body lacks and take corrective action / Credits: rido via 123RF


Through the power of artificial intelligence, many smartphone apps are being developed to cater to people's health needs, especially with rising health issues such as micronutrient deficiencies. A report from the UN showed that micronutrient deficiencies affect over two billion people across the world. Many of them are suffering from acute and chronic illnesses as well. Malnutrition also affects the most vulnerable communities in the least developed countries, including the Middle East and North Africa. 

For years, medical professionals have been finding ways to address micronutrient deficiencies. They diagnose it through looking for symptoms such as pale skin, brittle nails, muscle weakness, and fatigue. To better monitor our health, a team of engineering students from Ajman University created an app called Vita-Cam so anyone can discover what vitamins their body lacks and take corrective action. Ahmed Saif Eldeen Khalil, an electrical engineering graduate student who created the app, dubbed it as a “portable doctor.” Currently, it offers tests for a broad spectrum of B vitamins, vitamins C and A, iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium levels.

According to Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), an organization devoted to supporting and empowering vulnerable and disadvantaged communities around the world, Vita-Cam is powered by AI to evaluate a person’s vitamin profile from photos of their eyes, lips, tongue, and nails. After that, it would report nutritional deficiencies and suggest corrective dietary changes and supplements. So far, the app is among the most innovative solutions and certainly the least expensive one so far.

The researchers are planning to broaden the app’s coverage of vitamins and diseases. However, Wessam Shehieb clarified that the app will not replace anyone or anything in the healthcare system. “Our solution is not a replacement for medical consultation, but it is a tool designed to boost the community’s awareness of their nutritional needs and prevent health complications caused by untreated deficiencies,” he said.