NODA Smartphone-Based Assessment Expedites Autism Diagnosis

Behavior Imaging recently completed a National Institute of Health-funded research study to compare current in-person autism assessment practices with the NODA smartphone-based method. The research showed that the average total time associated with obtaining an autism spectrum disorder assessment using the in-person method was 118 days. With the NODA method, however, assessment took only 59 days. These research findings indicate that the NODA method decreases the overall time required to complete an assessment while providing acceptable levels of satisfaction for the families involved.

“We are immensely grateful to the experienced diagnosticians from participating sites who used their clinical experience to assess children earlier by the NODA method,” said Ron Oberleitner, CEO of Behavior Imaging and principal investigator of the study.


“Twenty years ago, our family faced a similar challenge. Long wait times at diagnostic clinics led to us going almost two years before confirming our son Robby’s diagnosis. This approach would have been invaluable to help us get an earlier start on Robby’s treatment.”


The NODA Study

From the beginning of January 2017 to the end of March 2018, three autism research sites participated in the project including Emory Autism Center (EAC), Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC) and the University of Idaho. Each site invited families from surrounding rural and urban communities who were seeking a developmental evaluation for autism.

A total of 57 families were included in this research study, of which 11 were from rural communities. Traditional in-person assessment was used for 29 families and the NODA method of assessment for the other 28 families. Families filled out two questionnaires about their experience, one after the assessment data was collected and the other three months after receiving a diagnostic report. Survey results showed both assessment methods were comparable in supporting families to get treatment if results were positive for an autism diagnosis.


The Benefits of NODA Software for Autism Diagnosis

Developed by Behavior Imaging, NODA (Naturalistic Observation Diagnostic Assessment) is an evidence-supported autism diagnostic assessment tool available as a software service.  Experienced diagnostic clinicians can use NODA to enable remote autism assessments. The service was commercially developed through a NIMH-funded series of research studies. By expediting a potential autism diagnosis, families can move forward more quickly with their care plan. NODA technology has the ability to bring families closer to the options they need for their child’s development and future. 



Read the full report here.