The Medical Research Council UK provides funding to scientists and academic bodies in the UK, providing the resources to research ways to improve human health, encourage researcher and advance healthcare knowledge across the globe. START is a project in which Therapy Box was the lead technical partner.
The project aim was to create an easy and affordable method of screening children in India for Autism which can be used without comprehensive medical training. It was funded by a Global Challenge Research Fund Foundation Award by the Medical Research Council UK. The University of Reading provided research into how eye tracking can be used to measure children's responses to stimuli, which became an integral feature of the app.
Therapy Box has successfully developed an autism screening app that can be used offline in remote rural areas. It uses proprietary eye-tracking software that has been developed specifically for autism detection. The app is based around a series of games that track how the child responds to changing stimuli. Questionnaires are also built in, which add more accuracy to the screening.
Therapy Box built a proprietary eye-tracking software development kit (SDK) for this project which allows for accurate eye-tracking using only a device's built-in webcam. The eye-tracking information created in the test is analysed to screen the child for signs of autism.
The app is generally expected to be used in rural areas of India, so it has been designed to work primarily offline, with the data stored locally. When the device is online again, the data is transferred so that it can be analysed.
While children play fun and engaging games, their eye movement and response to stimuli is tracked. This data is then analysed and can be used to screen the child for autism.