The Centers for Disease Control report that studies in Asia, Europe, and North America identify from 1% to 2% of the population with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD is approximately four times as common with boys than with girls but occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. We’ve written before about technology used to diagnose or help people with ASD, such as Stanford’s Autism Glass Project and the Cognoa AI-based behavioral health diagnostic system.

The Purdue Autism Research Center is an interdisciplinary effort focused on understanding, assessing, and treating people with ASD. Bridgette Kelleher, Ph.D., a member of Purdue’s Department of Psychological Sciences, is the co-director of the Purdue Autism Research Center and leads the campus-wide research team. PANDABox, one of the projects under Dr. Kelleher’s direction, is a family home-based remote telehealth system in which parents are coached and provided with tools to monitor their children for rare neurological syndromes.

PANDABox is an actual case delivered to the home. The case contains books, toys, a specifically configured tablet, and a child’s vest that records vocalizations. The study compensates parents who participate in the program by completing forms, submitting their children’s medical records, and participating in telephone interviews and teleconferences. The Purdue team developed PANDABox to involve parents in an active role with their children in the comfort of their homes, while helping the researchers learn more about child development assessment using telehealth to monitor early clinical risks in neurological syndromes including ASD.