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The future of health care: living rooms and wristbands

Monday, 13 February 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sam Bruinewoud
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(from News@Northeaster)

Most people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders suffer from severe forms of the disability, and find it difficult to perform unfamiliar tasks for undefined periods of time, according to Matthew Goodwin, an assistant professor of health informatics at Northeastern University.

Recognizing that results from studying higher-functioning individuals with autism may not apply to individuals with more severe cases of the disability, Goodwin came up with a novel idea: "Instead of bringing people into the lab, why don’t we consider taking the lab to people?”

To put this idea into practice, Goodwin draws on two forms of computer science. The first, called "ubiquitous computing,” tracks a person’s natural behavior in his home using embedded sensory devices such as cameras or microphones. The second approach, dubbed "wearable computing,” measures physical activity and physiological reactivity using embedded sensors on shoes, clothing and wristbands.

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