Industry: Device for early detection of autism
The Marcus Autism Center, a not-for-profit organization associated with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta — and one of the largest autism centers in the U.S. — is developing a device that could be used to diagnose autism spectrum disorders in children as young as six months old.
The technology uses an eye-tracking system to identify deficits in eye contact, one of the major indicators of autism. Recent research has revealed that infants who will go on to be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder typically show a decline in eye contact sometime around the age of two to six months old.
Currently, the median age of autism diagnosis is almost six years old. Early detection would help the 1 in 68 children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder to receive intervention and therapy at crucial periods in their early childhood development, enabling greatly improved outcomes.