New smartphone App could aid in timely diagnosis of autism

The new technology could help experts study and treat autism simultaneously

Stanford biomedical data scientist Dennis Wall, PhD, and his team are developing technology that could help experts study and treat autism simultaneously. Their smartphone app, called GuessWhat, captures video of kids with autism as they engage with parents or other adults in a charades-like game. The researchers are shaping the game to incorporate elements of traditional autism therapies while recording videos of parent-child interactions that could help boost the team’s work on efficient, home video-based autism diagnostics.

The team is using machine-learning technology to distinguish between videos of kids with and without autism. They are also using funding from a seed grant provided by Stanford’s Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute to incorporate features of existing behavioral therapies for autism into the game and create a way for the game-plus-video system to track kids’ progress.

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