|Photo courtesy of MIT Technology Review|
The M.I.T. Technology Review reports on the use of a computer vision system that is helping doctors diagnose autism in infants by age 2 and 3 instead of age 5.
Earlier diagnosis makes it possible to teach social and communication skills before other, maladaptive patterns become ingrained in a child’s behavior.
Diagnosing autism in children at younger ages requires a psychologist with expertise in autism to monitor the child closely for long periods of time.
Even when a child or infant’s behavior can be recorded on video, it takes hours of expert analysis, frame by frame, to arrive at a diagnosis.
Now, Jordan Hashemi and a team at the University of Minnesota is using computer vision to discover those at a higher risk for autism, earlier.
For example, child psychologists have developed several tests that screen for delayed tracking by infants with autism like a rattle shaken from one side of the head and then from the other.
To support this and other tests, the custom-developed computer vision system makes very fine assessments such as monitoring head movement along with the position of the left ear, left eye, and nose. Other behaviors analyzed include changes in limb position and gait in response to stimuli.
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