A scientist in Hong Kong has developed an innovative technique for early detection of autism or the risk of autism in children.
The method, created by Chinese University of Hong Kong professor Benny Zee, involves scanning retinas of children as young as six years old using artificial intelligence, reports Reuters.
Zee’s system is able to analyze different factors such as fiber layers and blood vessels in the eye by utilizing a high-resolution camera powered by software.
By detecting autism early, the retinal eye scanning system can get children who are at risk of autism into treatment programs sooner, noted Zee.
“The importance of starting early intervention is that they are still growing, they are still developing. So there is a bigger chance of success,” Zee was quoted as saying.
According to Zee, he intends his research to be a supplemental tool to a professional assessment by licensed healthcare professionals.
The technology was tested on 70 children, 46 of which have autism as well as a control group of 24. The youngest age of the participants tested was six while the average was 13 years old.
Zee’s study, published in the peer-reviewed medical journal EClinicalMedicine, revealed that the method was able to identify children with autism at 95.7% accuracy.
Feature Image via Reuters