Man's reflection in the bathroom mirror
“Wize Mirror” uses facial recognition technology to look for stress and anxiety markers, while gas sensors take samples of your breath to check how much you drink and smoke. Photo: Thinkstock

Mirror, mirror, will I have a heart attack?

A new smart mirror containing technology developed by NTNU researchers uses 3D-scanners and cameras to make measurements while you brush your teeth, giving you answers about your health minutes later.

Mirror, mirror on the wall— how healthy am I?

A smart mirror called “Wize mirror” looks like a normal mirror, but contains 3D-scanners, multispectral cameras and gas sensors that access your health as you look into it. The mirror does this by examining a person’s face, analysing fatty tissue, blood circulation and facial expression and colour.

Sees how much you drink and smoke

The mirror has facial recognition software that detects stress and anxiety markers, and gas sensors that measure your breath to see how much you drink and smoke. A 3D-scanner analyses your face to measure weight fluctuations over time, and multispectral cameras measure oxygen levels in the blood, micro-circulation and cholesterol in the skin.

After the software has analysed your your face, which takes about a minute, the mirror gives you a point score as an estimate of how healthy you are. The mirror can also provide personal tips on improving your health.

Diagnostics by looking at skin

Smart mirrors like this are being developed by a group of researchers and industry professionals from seven EU-countries, with EU-funding. The goal is to help people lead a healthier lifestyle. Professor Lise Lyngsnes Randeberg from NTNU is one of the researchers that is working on this mirror technology. Randberg is a professor of biomedical optics and photonics in the Department of Electronics and Telecommunications. She was among the first researchers to use multispectral imaging for medical diagnostics. This technique can be useful for things like characterizing bruises. Being able to accurately judge the age of the bruise can be the deciding factor in judicial cases.

Randberg’s team is working with the multispectral components of these smart mirrors, specifically developing algorithms for detecting cholesterol in the skin.

Sara Colantonio and her colleagues from the National Research Council in Italy are coordinating the project. Colantonio tells New Scientist that the plan is to use smart mirrors to help solve long-term health issues that are difficult to treat once they have occurred. This goes for diseases such as heart problems and diabetes.

In Norway alone, 350 000 suffer from diabetes.

Already in testing

Clinical trials are in progress in France and Italy. The plan is to compare measurements from the smart mirrors with measurements from traditional medical equipment.

Read more about the project from the international research group’s web pages.

These are the publications that Randberg and her team have participated in:

Detection of hypercholesterolemia using hyperspectral imaging of human skin

Mirror mirror on the wall…An intelligent multisensory mirror of well-being self-assessment