Autism is a very difficult condition to live with, both as a sufferer and a carer who takes care of someone with autism. Due to its nature, sufferers find themselves unable to communicate how they are feeling to other people, making them easily frustrated.
However, a new wristband solution has been developed which could make it easier to understand what a person with autism is feeling and determine how they may react.
Combating the Communication Barrier
The biometric wristband has been created by a team led by Dr Matthew Goodwin; an expert in wearable bio sensors for autistic patients. The band is said to be able to monitor and measure specific body changes which are associated with the dramatic behaviour seen in patients suffering with Autism.
Dr Goodwin has claimed that monitoring aspects of a patient’s body, such as skin temperature and heart rate with the use of a wristband will transform the lives of both sufferers and carers who deal with autism on a daily basis.
The device, which is similar in design to a watch, will measure four physiological signs associated with dramatic behaviour changes experienced with autism:
- Heart rate
- Movements of the limb that the device is attached to
- Skin surface temperature.
Teaming Up Technology
As the wristband is designed to monitor the behaviour and physiological changes of a person with autism, the team who are developing the device are exploring how to pair it with a mobile application which would allow a carer or family member to be able to monitor the mood of the sufferer in real time.
This would be extremely beneficial as one of the most frustrating aspects of autism is that sufferers find it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to communicate how they are feeling through words or body language.
This frustration often results in the dramatic behavioural changes which the wristband is hoping to reduce, such as extreme anger; giving care givers an opportunity to predict these often aggressive outbursts and resolve the situation before they can occur.
“The autistic children we’re working with can’t tell us what’s going on. They can’t say they have a headache, or ‘it’s too loud in here’ or ‘I don’t like this teacher’,” says Dr Goodwin “If we want to understand them, we need to look at what their body is telling us – and we need to do this in a gentle, unobtrusive way.”
The creators are adamant that their device won’t be reading the minds of these vulnerable people, simply monitoring their behavioural changes. Dr Goodwin has been quoted saying “I need to be clear that we are not reading minds. Bio sensors aren’t magic – they still need a human to interpret them.”
It is hoped that these sensors will be available commercially within 2 to 5 years.
Wristbands are an extremely versatile accessory and we are excited that more people are using them to help people be able to live a better life. From charity wristbands to these new biometric wristbands, we can help changes people’s lives for the better.