Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Detecting Autism via Microsoft Kinect

Kinect cameras watch for autism - tech - 08 May 2012 - New Scientist

This article discusses a very interesting concept which could help diagnose children with autism at a much younger age than traditional methods.  Granted it is experimental, and as the article suggests this type of monitoring will never replace traditional medical professionals or diagnostic methods, but it can be an additional tool used to ensure autistic children are diagnosed as young as possible and thus can receive treatment as soon as possible.

The one problem with this type of technology is it may result in the number of children diagnosed with autism to increase.  As we have witnessed in the past, any further awareness of the condition has led to an increase in the diagnoses, which in turn spurs an angry response from the anti-vaccination crowd as they claim the increases are due to vaccines, or specific ingredients in vaccines, or the sheer number of vaccines etc, etc.

Then again in the mind of a vaccine conspiracy theorist like Lowell Hubbs, this could all be one gigantic scam.  You see the Kinect is a device designed, built, and sold by Microsoft.  The chairman and founder of Microsoft is none other than Bill Gates himself.  The same Bill Gates who has donated hundreds of millions of dollars towards vaccination programs throughout the globe.  Thus, to an anitvaxxer, Bill Gates is an evil man, and as such this Kinect device must be some type of a ruse to confuse people about vaccines and vaccination programs.

I know this all sounds incredibly pessimistic, but the mind of an antivaxxer is an interesting study.  Regardless of their beliefs, I would hope everyone could agree that the idea of diagnosing autism early is a laudable goal, and one we should all be willing to support.

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