Why movement patterns?

A child’s behaviour is a mirror of what is going on inside his or her mind. Certain behaviours can be markers for particular developmental disorders. Our technology aims to identify these markers through research based movement patterns. For example, the tell tale behavioural markers for autism include avoiding eye contact and displaying repetitive movements. However, there are also much more subtle behaviours that may indicate developmental problems and we are investigating these using our touch-based technology.

Why we use tablets?

Unlike EEG-based or eye-tracking technologies, tablets are considerably affordable and widely available. They are also powerful data-collecting devices: sensitive to touch and movement, they allow us to gather information on many levels. For these reasons, we decided to develop solutions based on touch technology.

How do we measure movement patterns?

While children play our educational application games on their tablets, we acquire information about their behaviours using the tablet’s screen and movement sensors including the accelerometer and the gyroscope. Then, using computer learning algorithms, we assess the risk of autism in each individual by comparing behavioural patterns of the particular child to those identified in children already diagnosed with autism.

illustration process

Our findings

The results of our research suggest that children with autism behave differently while using a tablet-based application than their typically developing peers. We investigated these differences in detail to identify movement patterns that are related to typical and atypical development. The algorithms we used achieved 90% accuracy in differentiating behavioural patterns related to autism from those in typically developing children. These findings were our basis for developing tablet-based applications to identify the possible risk of autism through movement pattern analysis.

High quality research

In order to assure the highest quality standards, our solutions were created in cooperation with psychologists and consulted with specialists in child development. The methodologies of our studies were developed in cooperation with scientists from the University of Strathclyde, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, and Gdansk University of Technology. We cooperated with childcare centres and foundations that provide services to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.

AUTMON project: research on measuring progress in therapy

In collaboration with Gdansk University of Technology and Krakow-based Hipoterapia Foundation, we develop a system supporting measuring progress in therapy of children suffering from autism spectrum disorders. The system combines information provided by a therapist with data from tablet-based tests administered to a child, to maximize the therapy outcomes. The project is supported by the Polish National Centre of Science and Development.

Our research partners