Case Study: Wearable Predicts Autism Meltdowns

Autism Wearable

Smart Technology for Children With Autism

1 in 68 individuals in North America suffer from an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and this accounts for a total of US$56 Billion spent per year on non-medical treatment. For parents with children that suffer from autism, regular meltdowns can be traumatic for the whole family. A “meltdown” is an intense response to an overwhelming situation, characterized by a loss of control, which may be expressed verbally, physically or both, according to the National Autistic Society, a British charity.

Before a meltdown occurs, there are usually some tell-tale signs of distress. Awake Labs, the makers of Reveal, have built a wearable device that reads these signs and makes managing autism more manageable for everyone. When the wearer’s anxiety levels are heightened,  parents or teachers are alerted and strategies to reduce stress can be induced.

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Technology Utilized 

The Reveal device works by monitoring physiological signals in children such as heart rate, skin temperature, and sweating. Parents are alerted by an app when anxiety levels are heightened to a specific level. The device uses:

Heart Rate Sensors: Heart rate sensors are standard in health wearable devices. On the HWTrek platform, there are a number of experts who can provide technology of this sort. Particular recommendations include Shenzhen MNUO Electronics, iNewPhone, and Neurosky.

Galvanic Skin Response Sensors: For recording skin temperature and sweating, it’s common to use  GSR sensors (galvanic skin response), which allow the device creator to measure the electrical conductance of the skin. They act as an indicator of psychological or physiological arousal.

For devices of this type, it is worth reaching out to specialist health-focused smart watch manufacturers who can match your specific needs. Grear examples are Timestar Electronic or Joymed Technology.

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Results

Suffering from the anxiety associated with autism is a silent pain that stunts the development of a child and creates distance between family members. Devices like the Reveal wearable have the potential to close this gap by allowing parents to monitor anxiety levels and create strategies to alleviate problems.


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