Monitoring Stress in the Pediatric Autistic Population Using Galvanic Skin Response
Student Team: Discovery
Conor Anderson, Center for Discovery
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that uniquely affects individuals. An overall inability to communicate is characteristic of the disorder, which often leads to frustration that can escalate into adverse personal events. This can be especially detrimental to children affected by severe ASD where these adverse personal events can lead to setbacks in their education, personal harm to self or others, possible elopement scenarios, and potential life-threatening situations. In collaboration with The Center for Discovery — one of the world’s leading groups specializing in pediatric autism care — Emory University’s Department of Biomedical Informatics, and Georgia Tech’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, we were able to develop a solution: HealthE-Sense. HealthE-Sense is a versatile, user-centered, and affordable device designed to measure stress in children with severe autism. This device measures stress via electrodermal activity (EDA). Using signal processing methodology, we then extract and remove artifacts from this signal and customize the signal specific to each child. Finally, we take this clean signal and use it to potentially predict when an adverse event may be occuring and alert caregivers. This solution has the potential to truly improve the lives of children living with severe ASD.
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