Hong Kong Scientist Develops a Machine to Detect Early Childhood Autism

A scientist from Hong Kong has developed a retinal scan technology which can be used to detect early autism in children. This technology is modified to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to scan retinas of children as young as six years old to detect early autism.

The machine has the ability to capture the risks of autism. The scientist Benny Zee, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong hopes to start commercial production of the machine this year.

Retinal eye scanning can help to improve early detection and treatment outcomes for children. The importance of starting early intervention is that they are still growing, they are still developing. So there is a bigger chance of success,” said Zee.

The method developed by Zee uses high-resolution cameras with the aid of a new computer software which a combination of factors among them blood vessels in the eye and fibre layers.

The technology can be used to identify children at risk of autism and get them into treatment programs sooner,” added the professor.

Citing empirical data from the test, 70 children were tested using the machine out of which 46 had autism and 24 served as a control group.

The machine was able to identify the children with autism with an efficiency rate of 95.7%. The average age of the children was 13 years with the youngest aged 6.

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