February 27, 2024

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Autism eye scan among digital projects of new Institute

The new Caring Futures Institute at Flinders University is the first research hub in Australia fully dedicated to the study of self-care and caring solutions to transform how people care for themselves and others.

As reported, the launch of the new Institute unveiled several projects that are focused on better care across the lifespan.

These projects are developing solutions with partners and end-users to deliver societal and economic benefits.

Detecting autism at an early age

One such project is a promising new method to detect autism in children through a simple eye scan, which aims to identify the condition years earlier than is currently possible.

The possible biomarker for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also has implications for early detection of other disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The eye study for autism commenced over a decade ago, when the University’s optometry expert Dr Paul Constable started looking for an autism eye-biomarker.

He presented his team’s preliminary findings at the International Society for Autism Research conference in Canada recently.

The trial examined 89 individuals with ASD and 87 without ASD, who are comprised of children aged between five and 21 years from centres based in the UK, USA and at the University.

He explained that the retina is an extension of the brain, made of neural tissue and connected to the brain by the optic nerve. Thus, it was an ideal place to look.

They found a pattern of subtle electrical signals in the retina that are different in children on the autism spectrum, which relates to differences in their brain development.

His research, in collaboration with the Yale University in the US, and University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital in the UK, will now establish the test’s effectiveness on younger children.

The importance of early detection

It is a quick, non-intrusive eye-scan using a hand-held device and is anticipated to be equally effective on younger children.

Since they have already found a likely candidate biomarker for autism, the next stage is to look at young children, even infants, because the earlier the intervention the better it is.

Very early diagnosis means not only can children receive important interventions, but families are empowered to get the necessary supports in place, come to terms with the diagnosis, and make informed decisions.

The team is also investigating the scan to detect other conditions including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, with promising results.

This research is one example of many society-changing projects to be advanced through the Caring Futures Institute.

The Institute and its other projects

The Institute has several other initial projects. These are:

  1. Developing evidence-backed digital apps to facilitate nutritional home cooking
  2. Digital innovations to empower heart patients of all cultures and languages in self-care
  3. Enhancing online support for dementia carers

The Caring Futures Institute is based on four themes:

  1. Better systems – in health, ageing, social care systems and services
  2. Better lives – focused on self-care, health and wellbeing
  3. Better care – including caring, supportive, restorative and palliative interventions
  4. Better communities – generating social inclusion through co-design and collaboration

A future with answers to the greatest health challenges, where the highest standard of care is available to all who need it, is not out of reach.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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