Nothing is more beautiful to parents than a child’s face, but those treasured features could also hold valuable clues about health.
Researchers at Curtin University have pioneered a way of decoding this information using spatial technologies such as 3D mapping.
They say analysis of facial features could help speed up diagnosis of some medical conditions, providing a pathway to more timely treatment.
The approach is especially suited to children, whose growing faces show clearer signals than adults, giving greater potential for effective intervention.
The mapping process is as unobtrusive as possible, providing highly accurate measurements from a 3D image.
“Assessing whether a face has grown in a way that might be due to an underlying rare condition in childhood is when this tool is most useful, meaning it speeds up the diagnosis and resulting medical intervention,” says researcher Dr Richard Palmer.
“The shape and growth of the face is a window into a person’s health and this technology is especially suited to younger patients where conditions can be discovered through tell-tale variations in the development of facial features.”
It is estimated such conditions affect 63,000 children in Western Australia alone.
The application, dubbed Cliniface, is free and open source and can be downloaded for both Windows and Linux from the Cliniface website.
(The information in this article should not be considered medical advice. Please see your medical professional for information tailored to your personal circumstances.)
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