According to Awake Labs, one out of 68 people in the U.S. have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASF). It’s referred to as a spectrum because of the wide range of symptoms and severity. One factor people with ASD have in common, however, is trouble coping with anxiety. In children and adults with ASD, when emotional triggers increase anxiety without release, it can lead to a behavior meltdown. While a meltdown is ongoing it can be embarrassing and confusing for the sufferer and it also can be dangerous for the autistic person and for caregivers.
Awake Labs’ mission is to find a way to predict emotional stress by measuring physiological signs of anxiety in time to take preventative or palliative action.. The company’s answer is a wearable called Reveal. Reveal uses three components to accomplish three purposes: a wristband, a smartphone app, and analytic software to measure the data from the wristband. The three purposes of the product are to measure the physiological signs of anxiety, notify the person and any approved caregivers, and then to react by taking action to help. Whether it’s the person with ASD realizing a need to leave a situation or take other steps before the anxiety gets worse or for a caregiver to intervene, the reaction is the important end result. The goal is to add to quality of life by controlling anxiety.
The wristband, which can also be worn on the ankle, is designed to be comfortable, durable, waterproof, and shockproof. It contains sensors to measure heart rate, body temperature, and electrodermal activity (EDA) also known as “emotional sweat.”
The smartphone app, connected to the wristband by Bluetooth, provides a quick look at current and recent anxiety, shows trends over time, allows the user to note observed behavior and keep a calendar of “high anxiety events”, and stores a personal profile. The analytics will help all users assess the significance of the physiological signals.
Reveal is currently in an Indiegogo campaign, with the goal of shipping the fully developed product by May 2017.