Note: Since this post was written, significant improvements have been made on this device. Please refer to the latest news on Reveal here.
A wearable device, named as Reveal, has been created to monitor the real-time anxiety level in an autistic person. According to the experts, the device will immensely benefit persons with various disorder types in the autism spectrum.
This device has been designed to measure the wearer’s heart rate, sweat levels, and skin temperature. If the device detects a heightened anxiety level in the person, it will automatically send an alert message to caregivers’ smartphones. The caregivers can then intervene and avert a possible anxiety meltdown.
Andrea Palmer, a mechanical engineering student at the University of British Columbia, along with five other students from business and engineering backgrounds created this breakthrough device. She also won the prestigious Global Impact Competition for “the most innovative proposal” (the device) that would likely to have an impact on the society in coming three to five years.
Palmer said they were initially looking for ways to prevent a possible anxiety attack in people working in the high-stress level environment. However, they soon realized their research has potential benefits for people suffering from autism, dementia and post-traumatic disorder.
People with autism spectrum disorder often have issues with sensory dysfunction and are, therefore, sensitive to things such as the fabric of clothes, tags, lights, and etcetera. Keeping that in mind, Palmer and her team placed the device within the clothing so that the wearer is comfortable. “We want them to be able to wear it without knowing it is there”, said Palmer.
Palmer added that she wishes to develop the device further. She envisions a time when the device would aid the wearer to check their anxiety level without any need for caregiver’s intervention.