Say goodbye to BMI thanks to new iPad app

bvi pro pr

12 May 2017

  • Malvern-based tech firm uses Body Volume Indicator (BVI) technology to scan your body volume in less than a minute
  • Select Research CEO credits the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme, delivered by Aston University, in helping prepare for US launch
  • Ambitions that this will become a standard for measuring body mass by 2020

A Worcestershire-based body imaging technology company has created an iPad app that could see an end to reliance on the crude and controversial approximation of a person’s body size known as Body Mass Index (BMI).

Select Research, based in Malvern and graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme delivered by Aston University, has just launched BVI Pro – an iPad app which uses a recently-developed measure of body composition and weight distribution known as the Body Volume Indicator (BVI).

Following 10 years of rigorous research by Mayo Clinic in the US, BVI is set to transform how we assess whether we are a healthy weight by comparing total body volume to the volume of the abdomen – which can be measured accurately with Select Research’s new app. The aim is to provide an easily accessible and affordable means for the professional community to use the new BVI measurement in everyday clinical use.

Select Research reached out to Aston University and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme after the radical shift in their business plans and the potential for growth became apparent. The knowledge gained from the programme helped the firm refocus its priorities and led to them setting up a US subsidiary called BVI America. The BVI Pro app, which utilises Select Research’s patented 3D imaging software, is now available for healthcare professionals to download from iTunes in the US and will be available on iTunes in the UK from June.

Richard Barnes, CEO and founder of Select Research and the inventor of BVI Pro, said: “I enrolled onto the 10,000 Small Businesses programme in March 2013, it was shortly after we had been awarded the patent for BVI.

“Given the breadth and scope of the 'Health Indicator' patent, I knew that the business needed re-structuring to help realise the potential of this opportunity. The programme certainly helped me to view the business differently and focus on BVI, and the launch of the BVI Pro app in May 2017 has been helped by decisions I made after taking part.”

Now that professionals in the medical, clinical and fitness fields have access to the app, BVI Pro can make estimates of body volume, percentage of visceral fat and distribution of body fat for patients and clients in less than a minute. The app also allows you to keep detailed records of patient measurements to monitor results over time.

Aston University scientists were also involved in developing the software. Professor Ian Nabney, Executive Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, worked with Select Research to develop the initial algorithms and equations necessary for the app to measure body composition.

Discussing the technology itself, Richard added: “The idea for BVI was born out of the realisation that using external measurements was just one piece of the puzzle and rather than just accepting this as the standard, we needed to measure internal factors as well.

“Thanks to the support from Mayo Clinic and our other global collaborators, BVI – delivered through the BVI Pro app – can now help effectively identify and manage health risks, based upon a person’s weight distribution, in a cost-effective way, providing something of real value for the professional community in the US, and eventually globally.”

For more information about the Body Volume Indicator and the BVI Pro app visit


Notes to the editor

About Select Research

  • Select Research is a recognized world leader in 3D body imaging and weight distribution measurement technology with over 20 years’ experience in the field. Select Research pioneered the use of 3D body volume imaging in healthcare, wellness and retail and has set up a U.S. subsidiary, BVI America, to supply body volume imaging in the market. Its patented 3D imaging software measures and analyses body composition and body weight distribution – including visceral fat – from just two images, providing an efficient and cost-effective solution for professionals and clinicians alike. Research and data development by Select Research for measuring the human body in 3D for healthcare purposes has been ongoing since January 2000. More information can be found at 

About Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

  • The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme is designed to provide high-quality, practical education and business support to leaders of high-growth small businesses and social enterprises across the country.
  • These small businesses play a vital role in creating jobs and driving economic growth in the UK through innovation and market expansion. Social enterprises are also increasingly contributing to UK economic and community development through sustainable business models that are less dependent on traditional grant funding.
  • After extensive research, Goldman Sachs launched the 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme in 2010 to specifically address the support gap for small enterprises, helping them to unlock the economic and job creation potential of their businesses. The programme is designed by leading experts and is run in partnership with the Said Business School at Oxford University, the Aston Centre for Growth at Aston University, Leeds University Business School at University of Leeds, and the Manchester Metropolitan University Business School at Manchester Metropolitan University.
  • For more information, visit

About Aston University

  • Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston University has been always been a force for change. For more than 50 years the University has been transforming lives through pioneering research, innovative teaching and graduate employability success. Aston is renowned for its opportunity enabler through broad access and inspiring academics, providing education that is applied and has real impact on all areas of society, business and industry. True to Aston’s Coat of Arms which bears the word ‘Forward’, in 2016 Aston recently held a year-long anniversary celebration to recognise its heritage and achievements, but with a focus to drive forward the next stage in the University’s exciting journey. 

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