Children with autism can become aggressive and unmanageable, usually without giving any indications to their closest ones. Such mood swings can be difficult for their family members and guardians to handle. The worsening mental state of an autistic child can be mitigated and outbursts can be controlled if a bit of indication regarding his/her mental state is available.
Affectiva—a Cambridge-based company—launched the Q-Sensor wrist-worn device that has been used by scientists at the University of Missouri to precisely understand the mental state. They found increased levels of electrodermal activity as an effective indicator of looming outbursts in autistic kids.
The researchers carried out the study on eight kids suffering from severe autism spectrum disorder. Those kids were told to wear the Q-Sensors either on ankles or wrists, and their behavior was analyzed meanwhile monitoring via Q-Sensors.
The researchers found that the escalated electrodermal activity in kids, which is an indicator of rising sweat levels, was observed in 60% of the cases before emotional outbursts. Through these findings, the team concluded that a sharp rise in the levels of electrodermal activity reveals that a human body is responding physiologically to stressful conditions.
On a related note, a similar study on autism was carried out by the researchers at Northeastern University. Even they used a wrist wearable to examine the real-time mental condition and to predict the emotional outburst incidents a minute before with around 90% accuracy.
The researchers are not only restricted to monitoring sweating levels but also collects data regarding the patient’s body temperature, body movement, and heart rate. A computer collected and processed all the parameters to identify the appropriate digital biomarkers coupled with approaching aggressive episodes.
The researchers created an algorithm by carrying out a multi-day study on 20 kids to precisely detect the signs revealing aggravation of mental state, which eventually results in outbursts.