3D analysis of child facial dimensions for design of medical devices in low-middle income countries (LMIC)

Israel Amirav, Claude Kasereka Masumbuko, Michael T. Hawkes, Ian Solomon, Yossi Aldar, Gil Margalit, Alon Zvirin, Yaron Honen, Eugenie Sahika Sivasivugha, Ron Kimmel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background Facial anthropometric data are scarce in African children. However, such data may be useful for the design of medical devices for high disease burden settings. The aim of this study was to obtain 3D facial anthropometric data of Congolese children aged 0–5 years. Methods & findings The faces of 287 Congolese children were successfully scanned using a portable structured-light based 3D video camera, suitable for field work in low- income settings. The images were analyzed using facial analysis algorithms. Normal growth curves were generated for the following facial dimensions: distance between nares and distance from subnasion to upper lip. At birth, 1 year, and 5 years of age the median dimensions were: 1392, 1466, and 17.60 mm, respectively for distance between nares, and 1016, 10.88, and 1379 mm, respectively for distance from subnasion to upper lip. Modeled facial contours conveniently clustered into three average sizes which could be used as templates for the design of medical instruments. Conclusion Capturing of 3D images of infants and young children in LMICs is feasible using portable cameras and computerized analysis. This method and these specific data on Congolese pediatric facial dimensions may assist in the design of appropriately sized medical devices (thermometers, face masks, pulse oximeters, etc.) for this population.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0216548
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Amirav et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Funding:ThestudywassupportedbyAssociation forHealthInnovationinAfrica(AFHIA),grant number047/2018(CKM).Itwasalsosupportedby Gene&AnjaRosenbergResearchFundfor Scanning&analysisofGeometryinChildren(RK) andbyGrandChallengesCanada(https://www.

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