Is 3D body scanning a DEXA scan alternative?
Claiming to be a DEXA scan alternative service is bold. DEXA is the benchmark body composition measurement after all. So we got our own DEXA scans, then immediately compared them to our own Styku scanners to test whether we truly are a DEXA scan alternative. The results were very close indeed.
We understand that a sample size of two people isn’t the most scientifically vigorous, but the point was comparing services as any customer would experience them. We went from a DEXA scan we paid for, and compared it to the next scan we did at our office as if we were customers.
So, how did we do as a DEXA scan alternative?
STYKU SURFACE SCANNING VS DEXA SCAN
A quick explainer on why we benchmark our Styku system against DEXA machines. Styku and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed an algorithm that could back-calculate DEXA results based on body surface measurements. The outside of the human body is highly correlated with its internal composition. All you need is an accurate and consistent measurement tool, like a Styku scanner, and you can build a robust calculation to get extremely similar results.
Our system is, in many ways, a DEXA scanner emulator.
So how do the services compare?
|DEXA||Future Health Fitness|
|Scan time (approximately)||5 minutes||35-40 seconds|
|Scan consult included||Yes||Yes|
|Scan fully clothed||Yes||No|
|Body composition measured||Yes||Yes|
|Body circumference measured||No||Yes|
|Body fat distribution||Yes||Yes|
|Fat mass (kg)||16.1||15.1||1|
|Android fat mass (kg)||1.5||1.2||0.3|
|Visceral fat (kg)||0.7||0.4||-0.3|
|Gynoid fat mass (kg)||2.3||2.23||-0.07|
|Lean mass (kg)||56.2||55.6||-0.6|
|Lean mass (%)||74.9||75.9||+1|
|Fat mass (kg)||11.6||10.8||-0.8|
|Android fat mass (kg)||0.55||0.7||+0.15|
|Visceral fat (kg)||0.276||0.2||-0.076|
|Gynoid fat mass (kg)||2.1||2.27||+0.17|
|Lean mass (kg)||55.7||54.1||-1.6|
|Lean mass (%)||79.7||80.1||+0.4|
ANALYSIS – DEXA SCAN ALTERNATIVE?
To truly be a DEXA scan alternative we wanted to see our scanner producing results . We feel that our Styku system certainly achieved that with remarkably close results across most metrics. Predicted weight and percentage values were close for almost everything.
Fat %, fat mass, lean mass % and lean mass are the compositional metrics most worth focusing on and those results were close. It was great to see the regional fat distributions come so close between the two systems but we focus on the macro values with our clients.
We’re not sure of how the pre-scan weighing affects the final DEXA scan result because apparel weight could explain some of the difference between that scan and our scan if the DEXA machine doesn’t adjust for increased bulk from wearing clothes.
The consistency and accuracy of our system’s measurement, and the ability to track progress time, makes it an excellent body composition analysis tool.
WHAT WE CAN DO BETTER
Our tech gives us some advantages for measurement and tracking of physical change that DEXA scanners can’t match. We measure 21 body part circumferences; 4 in the legs, 6 through the torso, 6 in the arms, and one around the neck. Not only can we show body compositional changes, but can track which zones of the body have specifically changed.
It gives more options for targeted tracking, adds motivation, and gives significant satisfaction for clients who can see how much their body has grown or shrunk.
Our health reports are a powerful visualiser and motivator. The ability to see your physical form and the way it changes over time is a major strength of our system.
See report examples:
WHAT WE CAN’T DO
No service is perfect, and we have limitations.
Measuring bone density is something that should be left to DEXA scanning. Our system will give an algorithmic prediction, but bone density is an important medical issue that needs to be done with the most accurate measuring tools.
The Styku system performs very well with the vast majority of people, but measurement error rates can be higher for some body shapes. Styku identifies morbidly obese and extremely muscular bodies in a category of higher error rates. We’ve scanned very large customers and can still get plenty of data to track over time. Extremely muscular bodies are simply outside the algorithm. Competition body builders chasing 10% body fat will get more accurate readings from a DEXA scan than Styku 3D body scanning.
We can confidently say that we’re a more-than-viable DEXA scan alternative based on our experiences. We’re proud that we can bring equivalent results at a much lower price, and with multiple features unique to our scanning system.
Our services are ideal for people wanting to change their health and fitness, and track it all over time.
- See example health reports
- Read about how our scanning system works
- Read our blog about The power of precise body measurements