Detecting autism in matter of minutes

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 10:40 in Health & Medicine

Researchers at Harvard Medical School (HMS) have significantly reduced from hours to minutes the time it takes to accurately detect autism in young children. The process of diagnosing autism is complex, subjective, and often limited to only a segment of the population in need.  With the recent rise in incidence to one in 88 children, the need for accurate and widely deployable methods for screening and diagnosis is substantial. Dennis Wall, associate professor of pathology and director of the Computational Biology Initiative at the Center for Biomedical Informatics at HMS, has been working to address this problem and has discovered a highly accurate strategy that could significantly reduce the complexity and time of the diagnostic process. Wall has been developing algorithms and associated deployment mechanisms to detect autism rapidly and with high accuracy.  The algorithms are designed to work within a mobile architecture, combining a small set of questions and a short...

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