In a recent collaboration, researchers from Stanford and Princeton universities have created a crowdsourcing tool, called GapMap, to map autism prevalence across the globe. The main aim of GapMap is to highlight communities that require more resources in order to diagnose and treat those with autism.
GapMap is an interactive website that gathers information from researchers and site users (i.e. parents, caregivers) to map autism diagnostic centres. Those visiting the site can enter information such as ZIP code, gender, date of birth and autism diagnosis to GapMap to see how many people within their community have been diagnosed with autism.
Early findings from GapMap suggest that people living near autism diagnostic centres are more likely to be diagnosed with autism than those who live further away. This result indicates potential inequalities between who gets diagnosed.
Given these results, the authors of this study plan to use the tool to highlight resource imbalances between communities as an argument for making effective changes to the healthcare system. The primary goal of the researchers is to enable better access to autism diagnoses and services for all communities.