|Photo by: karelinlestrange via Pixabay|
A research team led by the University at Buffalo has developed an app for early autism detection and it can provide a risk estimation for children as young as 12 months old.
With a goal to develop a quantitative, wide-accessible, and cost-effective tool to begin early intervention of autism, University at Buffalo’s Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Wenyao Xu, and his team have created the app now called EarlySee.
EarlySee uses the gaze behavior and the facial expression of the child within a 40-second video. The camera will then detect the eye attention and eye movement of the child to analyze the cognitive and social capabilities of the child. Once the 40 seconds is finished, the data is sent to the researchers to estimate the risk. The researchers will send back the results to the families in two to four weeks.
The team said that in the United States alone, 1.5 percent of children or one out of 68 children are diagnosed yearly with such neurodevelopmental disorder. They shared in their site that the present screening of autism would rely on observations conducted during the routine visit and there is the so-called “wait and watch” move that often results in 9-24 months of delay in pursuing a diagnostic assessment. That is why they have decided to also launch the app during the World Autism Awareness Day to provide parents an easy-to-use tool for identifying ASD at an early stage.
Researchers also stated that the app has a 97-percent accuracy rate compared to a standard clinical testing, which requires nine months of waiting for the results.