Matthew Goodwin and his colleagues at Northeastern University in Boston and the Georgia Institute of Technology are working to develop a mobile system for recording behavior and physiology in individuals on the autism spectrum, for use in home settings.
The integrated system will consist of one or more mobile video-recording devices (mobile phone, tablet or single-purpose wearable recorder) synchronized with wireless sensors for autonomic and physical activity. The system may also enable parents to annotate the information during or after recording to reflect and share rich portrayals of their child’s behavioral patterns.
Goodwin’s goal is the unobtrusive recording of sleep; seizure activity; general physical activity; sociability; challenging behaviors such as aggression, self-injury or tantrum; repetitive behaviors; general affect; anxiety or autonomic dysregulation; language and motor tone.
Enabling parents to efficiently gather high-quality quantitative assessments of their child’s behavior and physiology in natural settings could enhance therapies by establishing more sensitive and detailed outcome measures.
Goodwin’s system may also facilitate basic research because it can be used to gather data from a large number of individuals on the autism spectrum. Additionally, its measures can be associated with other biological indices (genetic, metabolic, proteomic, immunologic, neurologic and psychiatric).