Boston — Northeastern University’s Dr. Matthew Goodwin was happy to announce that a wristband designed specifically to help individuals with autism will likely be made available to the public in two to five years’ time.
Dr. Goodwin’s lightweight wristband invention is capable of measuring its wearer’s surface skin temperature, heart rate, as well as amount of sweat — heightened levels of which indicate a drastic change in mood.
The Bio sensor wristband is also able to detect three-dimensional movements on the arm where it is being worn.
Dr. Goodwin believes that the development of this technology can be considered a breakthrough in wearable gadgets designed for individuals with autism, as it will allow carers to monitor physiological signals that may be indicative of an impending meltdown, thereby allowing them ample time to take appropriate actions.
The Bio sensor wristband is also capable of sharing data it gathers to a secure server, where carers can later on retrieve and examine how the wearer responds to different situations by studying his physiological signs data.
Wirral Autistic Society Client Services Director Jane Carolan believes the lightweight wristband is a promising invention. She told:
“When you work with people with severe autism, as we do, you see the dramatic difference that assistive technology can make to their quality of life. iPad apps are now, literally, giving a voice to people who have never spoken. Robots are helping autistic children learn to play peek-a-boo. Who knows where this innovation may lead us.”
“Assistive technologies can be truly life-changing and we feel it is part of our mission as an autism charity to ensure everyone has access this information and is part of the debate about how we want to support people with autism in the future.”
Dr. Goodwin cautions, however, that his lightweight Bio sensors wristband invention is no magical device. He said:
“I need to be clear that we are not reading minds. Bio sensors aren’t magic – they still need a human to interpret them.”
Dr. Goodwin and his team are currently working on improving the Bio sensor wristband, hoping to develop a way that will allow the wristbands to stream data in real time to mobile phones— before making it available to the public.
Source: Sophie Curtis: Telegraph: Biometric wristbands predict outbursts in people with autism