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New Apple app aims to transform autism screening

October 15, 2015

A new Apple app, created by researchers at Duke University, is aiming to transform autism screening.

The app, "Autism & Beyond," plays 20-minute videos and uses the iPhone or iPad's built-in camera to scan viewers' facial expressions, analyze their microreactions, and then indicate if there's a potential risk of autism, Vox reported.

Parents are guided to use the app with their children, who see videos of lights, sounds, and storytellers. The goal is to help prioritize high-risk children so they can see a doctor for a diagnosis sooner.

"Our goal is to develop a screening, like hearing or eyesight at schools," Guillermo Sapiro, an engineering professor who helped develop the app, said in a statement. "They don’t get glasses; they get a referral."

Eventually, the Duke researchers hope to mine the massive amount of video data collected through Autism & Beyond to reveal new insights and patterns about the behaviors of children with autism.

Read more about the new app on Vox.