A New AI Enabled App By Cognoa Aims To Help Diagnose Autism In Children

Cognoa, a company that makes digital therapeutics and diagnostic tools, recently submitted a new tool to FDA that could help pediatricians and parents identify children with Autism at a much younger age, enabling them to get the care and assistance they need much sooner. If and when there’s a concern either by the parents or the pediatrician, the pediatrician will prescribe a Cognoa mobile app to the parents. The app asks parents to answer a questionnaire related to their child’s behavior patterns and also upload two videos of their child in their natural environment. Once submitted, the responses and videos are sent to a trained professional who observes the responses and videos and provides their own input. The child’s pediatrician also provides their responses about the child’s behavior.

All of the responses are combined together and fed to Cognoa’s algorithm that, with the help of artificial intelligence, looks at thousands of other cases involving children from different races, backgrounds and gender, and indicate whether the child is on the Autism spectrum or not. Based on the signs provided by the tool, and using their own judgment, a pediatrician can then diagnose a child with Autism.

Besides assisting with diagnosis, the tool also aims to address certain irregularities, such as children in black and Hispanic communities not being diagnosed and girls being diagnosed later than boys. In addition, current practices involve pediatricians referencing children with suspected autism to specialists, which has created an overwhelming backlog resulting in families waiting for months and sometimes even years to get a diagnosis. Cognoa aims to speed up this process, knowing that it is possible to diagnose Autism in children as young as eighteen months old.

Timeline showing how cognoa can help diagnose autism in children by age 18 months.

Cognoa did a clinical study with 425 participants aged between 18 and 72 months old, assessing children with their tool and a specialist clinician.  The company is planning to roll out this tool to pediatricians in the second half of 2021.

Source: Digital trends

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