According to SFARI (Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative) researchers in Boston, Atlanta and New York are testing wearable monitoring devices designed to record complex behaviors in people with autism. These devices will utilise the wearer’s voice, heart rate, sweat levels, skin surface temperature and other data to predict when aggressive or self-harming behavior is about to take place, or the ways in which the wearer is interacting with other people. Although continuous, automated behavioral recording has the potential to offer increased standardization when compared to current behavioral measures, bringing it to fruition will require substantial work, according to a recent review in the 2014 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Conference Proceedings. The ultimate goal is to develop user-friendly measurement technology that aids in the design and assessment of interventions for children with autism. To that end, Matthew Goodwin, assistant professor of health sciences at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, is working on a wrist device that measures physiological characteristics of the wearer. Signs of stress measured by the wrist device are being analyzed for links to problematic behaviors. Goodwin’s team is also working with Catherine Lord to monitor vocalization and verbal engagement of children with autism using a wearable voice-recognition system called LENA. Researchers say the eventual goal is to track behavior with the same rigor and objectivity currently used to map the genetics of autism. Click here to view the SFARI article in its entirety.