Parents can now measure, record and track their child’s growth patterns directly from their smartphones
On 27th November 2019, Malaysian Paediatric Association (MPA) in collaboration with Novo Nordisk Pharma (M) Sdn. Bhd. (Novo Nordisk) launched the Growth Journey™ app, an innovative growth tracking digital solution that places parents at the heart of their children’s physical development.
Using augmented reality technology, the Growth Journey™ app not only enables parents to easily and continuously track children’s growth patterns from the comfort of their homes; it also helps parents to detect any irregularities at an earlier stage. The app records and stores the data collected, which parents can then share with their paediatrician for further analysis if needed.
When the concept of the app was first presented, MPA raised a few key concerns such as secu-rity and accuracy. Security passed MPAs stringent inspection quickly as the app was created in compliance to the European GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Accuracy however, required a local validation study. Hence, a few months prior to the Growth Journey™ launch-ing, a few enthusiastic and hardworking individuals from the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), led by Associate Professor Dr. Muhammad Yazid Jalaludin, volunteered their time and effort to validate the app’s camera measurement accuracy. The validation took 3 months with testing done on both Apple and Android phones. Suffice to say, the efforts were well spent, as the results were very positive with an average accuracy of 98%.
Today, the Growth Journey™ app is endorsed by MPA and future collaborations will follow suit.
It’s More Than Height – It’s Health!
This simple and innovative tool, which falls under the umbrella of Novo Nordisk’s on-going growth awareness campaign themed, ‘It’s More Than Height – Its Health!’ strives to highlight the need for parents to monitor the growth patterns in their child’s early years. As part of the media launch, there was an interactive chit-chat session on growth, including a guest parent, Pn. Alena Hashim, who shared her child’s growth journey.
The launch of the Growth Journey™ app was then officiated by Yang Berhormat Dr. Lee Boon Chye, Deputy Minister of Health Malaysia, Associate Professor Dr. Muhammad Yazid Jalaludin, Consultant Paediatrician and Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) and Novo Nordisk’s Vice President & General Manager, Novo Nordisk Pharma MSB, Mr. Richard Abela. Together on-stage to commemorate this special occasion was Dr Azriyanti Anuar Zaini, Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologists (UMMC) who was part of the vali-dation study team, Sebnem Avsar Tuna, Corporate Vice President of Novo Nordisk Pharma Operations (BAGOS) and guest parent, Pn. Alena Hashim.
Highlights from the Media Launch
On the implications of stunting, YB Dr. Lee Boon Chye, Deputy Minister of Health Malaysia shared, “Beyond health issues, short stature children may be subjected to teasing or bully-ing at school, have lower self-esteem and face physical and social challenges. Moreover, with Malaysia recording as high as 22% in stunting among the urban poor, it is vital for parents to be proactive in monitoring the growth of their children.”
Speaking at the launch, Associate Professor Dr. Muhammad Yazid Jalaludin said, “Many parents are unaware of the importance of tracking their child’s growth. Aside from nutrition, poor growth could also be linked to serious health problems which can be treated if addressed early. Having an app such as the Growth Journey™ will offer parents an easy, convenient way to track their child’s growth consistently and monitor if their child is growing healthily. This is especially significant as 80% of a child’s growth trajectory occurs before puberty.1”
Parents can download the Growth Journey™ app from the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store. Once installed, parents can track their children’s height in 3 easy steps:
1. Measure: They can measure their children’s height with the built-in automatic height measurement tool by taking a picture of them.
2. Record: The growth book gives parents a visual historical record of all measurements made in the app.
3. Track: Parents can follow their child’s measurement on a growth chart to monitor their development.
- Abbassi, V. (1998, August). Growth and normal puberty. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9685454.