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Welthungerhilfe Is Using Microsoft’s AI Tech to Track Malnutrition in India

By Nitish Singh / January 25, 2019

Welthungerhilfe is a private aid organization based in Germany that has partnered with India’s Action Against Hunger chapter to track malnutrition in the country. The partnership has led to the launch of Child Growth Monitor, an app that uses Microsoft’s AI technology to monitor growth and nutrition levels in children.

The Microsoft Azure and AI-powered app can scan almost 10,000 children to look for malnutrition symptoms. Identifying malnutrition early allows fast and effective care to be deployed before it becomes chronic and harder to treat. The complex data crunching is made possible by Microsoft’s advanced solutions that are constantly improving and being used globally.

150 trained professionals will be given smartphones with the Child Growth Monitor app pre-installed to collect data from various parts of the country. The app will take advantage of the smartphones’ infrared sensors and capture body measurements in 3D, and the data is uploaded to the Azure Cloud database. Nutritionists and IT specialists take advantage of Microsoft’s AI solutions and evaluate the data to offer a comprehensive report. It is important to note that AI is not fully automating the malnutrition treatment process and it is simply assisting nutritionists and analysts from Welthungerhilfe in understanding the data making treatment far more efficient.

Once the dietary data is analyzed, health workers are notified about the results, and dietary changes are prescribed to children who are suffering from malnutrition. The app is being launched as a pilot program in India, and if it is successful, it will likely be used in other parts of the world as well. According to Microsoft, the Child Growth Monitor app has a learning algorithm that makes the AI smarter each time a child is measured. The pilot project made possible by Welthungerhilfe, Action Against Hunger and Microsoft is being conducted in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan till March 2019.

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