A new computer software analyzes pictures of your tongue and determines your health according to the principles of zheng, an ancient Chinese medicinal system.
This software was developed by researchers from University of Missouri. According to Dong Xu, computer science department chairman for University of Missouri, “knowing your zheng classification can serve as a pre-screening tool and help with preventive medicine.” He further adds, “our software helps bridge Eastern and Western medicine, since an imbalance in zheng could serve as a warning to go see a doctor.”
The new software can determine if your tongue has “hot” zheng or “cold” zheng. According to Xu, “hot and cold zheng doesn’t refer directly to body temperature. Rather, it refers to a suite of symptoms associated with the state of the body as a whole.”
Ancient Chinese medicine states that when the tongue is both cold and hot zheng, that can be a symptom of gastritis, a case where the stomach lining is inflamed. A research was conducted trying to determine the accuracy of the software, in which most gastritis patients were accurately diagnosed.
According to Ye Duan, a computer science associate professor from University of Missouri, “our software was able to classify people based on their zheng status. As we continue to work on the software we hope to improve its ability…”
“Eventually everyone will be able to use this tool at home using webcams or smartphone applications. That will allow them to monitor their zheng and get an early warning about possible ailments.”