AIIMS doctors create app to catch early signs of Autism

Written by Aditee based on inputs by Meeta K

Doctors at AIIMS have developed and app PedNeuroAiimsDignotics that will help in timely diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.

The app is available on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
Dr. Gulati of AIIMS, Head of Child Neurology Division said that, due to lack of paediatric neurologist and child psychiatrists, there is often a delay in diagnosing ASD in India. With the help of this app, even paediatricians can assess whether a child has ASD or not.

ASD are neurodevelopment disorders that characterised by deficit of two main domains – impairment in social interaction and communication, and restricted repetitive behaviour.

A study was conducted from April 2015 to December 2015 on children aged 1-14 with suspected ASD. The app has been tested successfully on more than 200 children who visited hospital OPD with suspected ASD. Out of 225 children enrolled, 128 (57%) were diagnosed with ASD. The diagnostic performance of the app developed by AIIMS has 98% sensitivity and 92% specificity.

Till about 10 years ago Autism was considered a rare disorder. Autism clinics in major hospitals say that recently there had been increase in Autism cases as much as 3-4 new cases daily. Although there is no definite cure for the disorder yet, behavioural intervention is the mainstay of treatment.

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