Lapetus Solutions working on biometrics-based selfie face analytics for aging
AI company Lapetus Solutions has been developing analytical solutions for the insurance market that leverage biometric facial recognition with selfies to treat the face as a biomarker of human aging, writes Longevity Technology.
Professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Karl Ricanek holds a PhD in computer science and has specifically focused on facial analytics. He founded Lapetus Solutions in 2015 together with Jay Olshansky, professor of gerontology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and founder of the field of biodemography.
Ricanek explained in an interview with Longevity Technology that just 10 years ago, insurance companies created life expectancy models based on blood analysis. In a meeting with life insurance companies, Ricanek heard Olshansky’s presentation on people who are “biologically aging slower” and the “indicators on the face that present themselves for long-lived individuals.”
“It’s about understanding your origins, your genes, those things that are just innate in you,” Ricanek told the publication. “So, it was natural that we would look at the components of the face to understand biological age, or what we’re now calling in our product, our ‘senescing rate.’ This is the rate at which you’re aging, and it can be faster or slower, or normal. So, if you are senescing slower than normal, it basically means that you are likely to live longer than average. If you’re senescing faster, then you’re likely to live shorter.”
Next year, Lapetus plans to release Janus, a facial analysis product that life insurance companies can integrate with their online application process. The company claims a “medical selfie” is all it takes for the system to accurately detect gender, age and BMI in less than two minutes. Another feature it is working on is susceptibility to chronic diseases.
After working in AI for some 30 years, Ricanek says that “Only now are we getting to the point where the artificial intelligence, the hardware, and the ability to scale it up using cloud technology, has presented itself in such a way that we can solve these really challenging and, before now, just intractable problems.”
Lapetus’ focus areas are longevity risk, life expectancy, medical underwriting and wealth management. Future plans include adding sensory analytics and saliva-based genetic testing, while researching other innovation related to aging measurement.
“When you blend all of these things together, we can give you a more detailed picture of your life expectancy and your potential for chronic disease,” says Ricanek. “We haven’t done the blending part yet – but that’ll come next year.”