Bug Bite AI

Bug Bite AI is an android app for identifying common bug bites in real time using a trained tensorflow model on your mobile device. Bug Bite AI was previously proposed for a contest, but not actually built. Using the MobileNet Tensorflow model, I was able to make this dream/concept a reality by retraining on sampled/labeled data for bug bites collected from the web!

This app is not designed to replace a legitimate medical diagnosis, but can help folks with unknown bites or irratations on the skin quickly find answers or medical treatment by a professional.



One of my friends came back from Asia a couple months ago and got bunch of bug bites, and she was afraid whether or not she caught malaria.

I thought that we can use techniques in AI to classify bug bites, as well as using tele-medicine to communicate with a dermatologist to validate the bite.

Unaddressed or untreated bites in dangerous settings can be dangerous; having more advanced diagnostic tools in the field can potentially save lives:

What it does

BugBite AI is designed to classify bug bites using images in the field in real time across 5 common categories, with about a 70% accuracy amongst the 5 labels.

People who travels, or places with deadly mosquitos such as zika or west nile. This would give patients immediate relief. Insurance company pays for tele medicine. And just about any aid workers who goes to African jungles. The app could later incorporate recommended products for treating the various ailments to earn affiliate revenue - for example, recommending a particular lotion for reducing the inflammation of a spider bite. Telehealth could also be incorporated into the final app and allow users to connect with Dermatologists or other professionals in the field.

How I built it

Collected a small dataset of labeled images in common bug bite categories that appear on the skin:

  • Bee Stings
  • Mosquito Bites
  • Tick Bites
  • Spider Bites

and of course labels for the control group where there are no bites present.

Once these images were collected, they were resized to fit the 224x224 model input format (using resize.py)

The output graph was constructed and converted using the latest tfnightly build (convert.py).

Challenges I ran into

  • Collecting, resizing, and fitting the model using a new collection of images.
  • Fitting the model into the live function of an android app.

What's next for Bug Bite AI

  • Expand the training data to a larger set of labels and examples, potentially into hundreds and thousands of individual examples.
  • Expand into Telehealth and affiliate marketing applications to enable revenue generation.
  • Release the working model/app onto the Google Play Store (with appropriate medical usage disclaimer).
  • Better classify images based on skin types - potentially solvable by obtaining more training samples.

There’s also time aspects of bug bites - how does the app deal with time evolution after the bite has occurred and the person’s particular background and individual immunity response to the bite? We only classify the bug bite, the time evolution will be part of our training for AI, the AI will recognize different time series just like if the skin cancer spread, it would still be picked up by AI, it would actually be easier.


For details of the model used, visit Image classification.

Downloading, extracting, and placing the model in the assets folder is managed automatically by download.gradle.


  • Android Studio 3.2 (installed on a Linux, Mac or Windows machine)

  • Android device in developer mode with USB debugging enabled

  • USB cable (to connect Android device to your computer)

Building the Project

Select Build -> Make Project and check that the project builds successfully. You will need Android SDK configured in the settings. You'll need at least SDK version 23. The build.gradle file will prompt you to download any missing libraries.

The file download.gradle directs gradle to download the two models used in the example, placing them into assets.


`build.gradle` is configured to use TensorFlow Lite's nightly build.

If you see a build error related to compatibility with Tensorflow Lite's Java API (for example, `method X is undefined for type Interpreter`), there has likely been a backwards compatible change to the API. You will need to run `git pull` in the examples repo to obtain a version that is compatible with the nightly build.

Running the app

Connect your Android device to the computer and approve any ADB permission prompts that appear on your phone. Select Run -> Run app. Select the deployment target in the connected devices to the device on which the app will be installed. This will install the app on the device.

Assets folder

Do not delete the assets folder content. If you explicitly deleted the files, choose Build -> Rebuild to re-download the deleted model files into the assets folder.

Useful Links

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