by Conor Hale

Cognoa aims to equip primary care pediatricians with an artificial-intelligence-powered digital app that can spot the signs of autism, allowing them to rule out or diagnose spectrum disorders within the doctor’s office or remotely.

This could represent a broad shift in the standard of care, as most children are referred to specialists for diagnosis and later treatment—a process that can take years—and could allow for earlier interventions during critical windows in a child’s neurodevelopment. 

Cognoa recently completed a clinical trial of 425 children between the ages of 1 1/2 and 6, comparing the company’s diagnostic program to the clinical standards performed by specialists based on DSM-5 criteria.

The mobile app gathers input from parents, caregivers and healthcare providers through questionnaires and can upload video of children interacting with others or performing tasks before delivering the result as a diagnostic aid to the physician. According to the company, the study showed the program can be highly accurate across genders as well as ethnic and racial backgrounds.

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