Gabriele Häusler from the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and Thomas Wrba from the Division of IT Systems & Communications (ITSC) have been chosen as MedUni Vienna's Inventors of the Year 2021. The portal they developed, wachstum.at, compares the body measurements of children and adolescents against current Austrian and international comparative data, showing parents and doctors at a glance whether a child deviates from the appropriate reference range for its age-group.
The medical device, which was jointly developed by the Austrian Society for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and the Medical University of Vienna, can be accessed and used free of charge at: www.wachstum.at. This is the first time there has been a uniform tool in Austria for assessing children's body measurements. Gabriele Häusler was responsible for the content and Thomas Wrba for the technical implementation.
The website, developed under the project management of the Medical University of Vienna (MedUni Vienna) in collaboration with the working group on Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology (APEDÖ) of the Austrian Society for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (ÖGKJ) provides doctors and parents with appropriate comparative data from healthy children and adolescents, to help them assess whether young people are thriving.
The so-called "WHO standards" from the World Health Organization are used for babies and young children up to the age of four. The term "standard" refers to the expected statistical "normal range" for the progression of height and weight/BMI under ideal dietary, social and environmental conditions. The Austrian data for use in the 4 - 19 age group come from a large-scale Austria-wide study, in which the height and weight of more than 14,000 children and adolescents from primary and secondary schools were measured and analysed using up-to-date statistical techniques.
In practice, percentile curves, based on data from large-scale comparative collectives, are used for assessing height and weight. Giving a child's height or weight in percentiles means that these values have been compared against data for children in the same age group. So, for example, if the height of a 12-month-old child lies in the 10th percentile, this means that 90% of children of the same age and gender are taller and 10% are shorter.
Video clip celebrating the award (in German)