Telehealth-based Systems for Diagnosis, Management and Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Challenges, Opportunities and Applications

The prevailing system for diagnosis, treatment, and management of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in the US-the in-person service delivery-has been unable to address the increase in the demand for services and societal costs for those served, and the unattained societal benefits for those not diagnosed early enough or not offered early and intensive behavioral interventions. The authors discuss new developments in telehealth for diagnostic evaluation and ASD treatment in the US.

Read more: Telehealth-based Systems for Diagnosis- Angjellari-Dajci-Hershey-Dec, 2013-Book Chapter

BI Publications and Preliminary Studies Lists now available !

As a testament to Behavior Imaging being active to research efficacy for different use cases involving health and educational assessment of a variety of people, our partners particularly pursuing

Thanks to this year’s crop of talented and dedicated summer interns, you can now visit the publication list for the following applications, please look in Research and Studies for

-Autism Diagnosis (NODA) using Behavior Imaging

-Behavior Assessment

-Medication Management

-(Special) Education Assessment

-Health Worker Supervision and Training

-Health Assessment – Children’s Mental Health, Development Disability

Helping At-risk Families in Rural Idaho, Eastern Washington

The University of Idaho Child & Youth Study Center has been collaborating with other autism health professionals on Behavior Imaging’s National Institute of Health (NIH) research grant to explore alternative methods of diagnosing autism spectrum disorder earlier, especially for children in underserved and rural areas.

The Center will still accept participants into this program from outlying areas (remote to Moscow) who may be suspect of having autism until May 31st, 2016. Participants must be between the ages of 1 and 7. If you can share this opportunity with your network especially in surrounding rural communities who would like further information and potentially participate in this research initiative, they can contact Dr. Gwen Mitchell at , 208-885-6191

As part of this study, the University’s clinic will provide comprehensive diagnostic assessment to
participants at no charge if they choose to complete the two stages of this process.
1) a comprehensive evaluation at the University clinic in Moscow and
2) complete the Naturalistic Observation Diagnostic Assessment protocol from their homes (which will be discussed in depth when interested families contact the clinic). Nominal financial compensation is given to the family after they complete each phase.

This will be an excellent opportunity for parents of children who have no or limited insurance coverage or who are on Washington Medicaid. Please contact Gwen Mitchell if you would like to discuss NODA and this study. We are excited to work with the NIH and our other partners nationwide in developing a tool that may revolutionize the way we make diagnostic determinations.


Ron Oberleitner, Principal Investigator – NIH Study – ‘Accelerating the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in rural Idaho via evidence-based Smartphone technology’ –

Adapting Telemonitoring Technology Use for Older Adults

Kristine Williams, PhD, RN, APRN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN; Priya Pennathur, PhD; Ann Bossen, PhD, RN; and Alexander Gloeckner, BBA


Telehealth technologies are increasing health care access for patients in the home and in community, rural, and underserved areas. Older adults may be challenged to use new technologies due to aging- related changes, lack of experience, and different attitudes toward their use. The current pilot study evaluated potential issues in one-on-one training/instructions and use of a telemonitoring application. Older adults may benefit from specific adaptations and training to use new health care technologies, and behavioral coding is an effective way to evaluate the user interface for new technologies. Feedback from the current study will be used to adapt the application and training to support dementia caregivers. [Res Gerontol Nurs. 20XX; x(xx):xx-xx.]

 Read more here: adapting-telemonitoring-technology-use-for-older-adults-a-pilot-study(2)

Feasibility of Conducting FBA’s in the Schools with Web-Based Video Recording Technology

Purpose of Current Study:

  • To determine the efficacy of using web-based video recording technology to conduct functional behavioral assessments (FBA’s) in the schools for children with ASD or related disorders.
  • Explore the cost-benefit (i.e., time and money) of using Behavior Imaging for FBA’s in the schools when compared to archival records of FBA’s conducted in person (i.e., traditional approach).

View the entire ABAI poster: ABAI Poster – 5-6 ro highlgihts

Behavior Imaging Upcoming Research Presentations at Child Psychiatry Conference

Behavior Imaging and their clinical research partners have collaborated on a number of upcoming projects in order to provide a better fundamental understanding of telemedicine in autism research, diagnosis, and treatment at this year’s American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry annual meeting.

This year Behavior Imaging will present the following 2014 research papers in an effort to share their investigative studies with other researchers and practitioners seeking to further their professional and educational growth:

  • Supporting Remote Diagnostic Assessment for Autism: A Clinician-Guided Asynchronous Telemedicine System
  • Use of Behavior Imaging Technology to Verify Inter-Rater Reliability in a Multi-Site Pharmaceutical Trial
  • Autism Medication Management By Asynchronous Telemedicine: A Case Study

Inspiring the future: Past Behavior Imaging AACAP Involvement

Behavior Imaging has been involved with AACAP in past conferences and have successfully demonstrated the Med smartCature App for dozens of doctors, researchers, and professionals at the AACAP Annual Conference in 2013. While some talked about its potential as a way doctors could stay connected with international or long-distance practices or research projects, others were interested in how it would help during pharmaceutical clinical trials.

About the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

AACAP is the leading national, professional medical association that is dedicated to treating, and improving the quality of life for children, adolescents, and families affected by mental & emotional disorders.Their mission is to promote the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families through research, training, prevention, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment and to meet the professional needs of child and adolescent psychiatrists throughout their careers.

AACAP’s 61st Annual Meeting will be on October 20-25th, 2014 in San Diego, CA. This meeting is a key opportunity for professionals in child and adolescent psychiatry and allied disciplines to assemble from around the world to advance their understanding of the many facets of child development, developmental biology and psychology, developmental psychopathology, assessment, treatment, prevention and public policy.

The AACAP is committed to maintaining a professional atmosphere that encourages interactions at the highest intellectual and ethical levels. They are committed to the free and prompt sharing of scientific, clinical and other information for the primary purpose of enhancing the best practices in child and adolescent psychiatry. This, in turn, promotes the very best treatment for children and their families experiencing psychiatric illness and developmental disorders.


Telehealth technology is a tool that allows behavior professionals and others to make valuable observations, gather data, and propose more targeted, appropriate remediation for areas in which an individual with an autism spectrum disorder needs to progress. This tool can be used across natural settings of home, school, and community, and it has practical applications including use in classroom observation and Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings. The capability of telehealth technology to serve children and families remotely means that parents of children in rural settings can receive more frequent and consistent services from a greater variety of professionals.

This chapter will look at:

-Defining telehealth and asynchronous telehealth for autism (Behavior Imaging® technology)

-How Behavior Imaging® can help professionals observe problem behaviors in the classroom

-How the results of observation via Behavior Imaging can aid at the Individualized Education Program (IEP) of a student with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

-How telehealth technology further helps IEP team members

-Case study via the ‘Beacon Day School project’

(Chapter in Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism (May, 2014); available at  )

Iterative Design of a System to Support Diagnostic Assessments for Autism Using Home Videos

Direct observation remains a gold standard practice in diagnosing ASD. While clinical professionals acknowledge that observing behavior in the natural environment is crucial to obtain an accurate and comprehensive assessment, such observation is currently not feasible to implement into clinical practice on a large scale.

The present goal is to iteratively design a system that will enable parents to record video examples of their child’s behavior in the home under the guidance of a clinician, and share these recordings with the clinician for the purpose of diagnostic assessment for autism. Families of children ages 3- 6 years with an autism spectrum diagnosis tested a prototype of such a system and were interviewed about their experiences with it. Additionally in a second study, clinicians rated the utility of the videos taken by the families for the purpose of diagnostic assessment.

Read more: Iterative Design of a System-Nazneen-May, 2014-Conference Paper

Story From the Field: Family’s Outlook Changed Through Video Journaling

As we celebrate the completion of important research on our new Med smartCapture mobile app for medication management, we look back at one of the important moments that showed the usefulness of the video self-reports the new app enables.

Download docx Press Release

In 2010, Matthew, then a junior high student, was struggling with how to understand his teachers’ instruction, interact with his peers, and communicate his needs to those he trusted. He was discouraged and frustrated, and, what is worse, he was isolated in his frustrations because his autism hindered him from communicating his feelings and thoughts to those around him. His mother, Diana, was equally discouraged and was desperate to understand what her son was going through and how she could help.

At the recommendation of their doctor and a program they were a part of as a US military family, Diana and Matthew looked into a program that allowed Matthew to create a private video journal within a secure online platform, which he could then share with his doctor. And that was the beginning of a year-long healing process for both Matthew and Diana.

The program used Behavior Imaging’s Behavior Connect platform to allow Matthew to securely connect with his doctor. The platform also aimed to help parents collect video data of their child’s behavior and let their doctor organize, tag, and store the videos, therefore assisting their doctor in assessing and treating behavioral disorders. Thanks to the positive results families and doctors have experienced through programs like the one Matthew and Diana participated in, Behavior Imaging is working on a new version of the app available to any family in the same situation. Last month, thanks to a grant from Autism Speaks, Behavior Imaging concluded tests on the Med SmartCapture app, a mobile app that takes the same technology Matthew and Diana used a step further by transforming it into a smartphone application that brings that interactive element between patients, caregivers, and their doctors.

Almost immediately upon using the platform to interact with their doctor, both Matthew and Diana saw the benefits of being constantly supported by and connected with their doctor, even when trips to the doctor’s office were impracticable or impossible. “I knew that the doctor was available, pretty much at all times. We had the ability for Matthew and us to have that face-to-face connection,” Diana says.

As Matthew and Diana continued to interact with their doctor through the program, Matthew found he was able to communicate more, allowing Diana and their doctor to see and hear just how difficult our world is to a person with autism. It was the beginning of a new and better stage for their family as Matthew was able to communicate his needs, thoughts, and emotions, and Diana and others were able to see how Matthew was struggling and how they could support and help him.

“We were getting somewhere,” Diana says of the year they spent using Behavior Imaging’s technology. “It is an ongoing process (and major work) to support, learn, and understand how to communicate with someone with autism. Having the technology was priceless.”

To Ron Oberleitner, founder and CEO of Behavior Imaging, stories like Matthew and Diana keep him and his company going. “There is such a challenge to get access to one’s doctor outside of office visits, and so it is always exciting and important when someone makes progress the way Matthew did from home,” he says. “We’re thrilled that our technology has made such an impact on his family.” The future potential of the app is just at the beginning, Mr. Oberleitner says, as millions of other families living with autism may find the app just as helpful.

Behavior Imaging Solutions is the culmination of over ten years of research by Ron and Sharon Oberleitner, whose son was diagnosed with autism in 1996. Founded in 2005, Behavior Imaging was recently awarded a $2.7 million grant by the National Institute of Mental Health to research Behavior Imaging technology for earlier diagnosis of autism and transforming pharmaceutical trials. The Behavior Connect platform is a solution to a wide array of problems in special education and healthcare, including Naturalistic Observational Diagnostic Assessment (NODA), pharmaceutical clinical trials, annd clinical staff support, training, and evaluation.

Behavior Imaging Research Demonstrating Effectiveness in Autism Classrooms – Atlanta, GA

In this NIH funded pilot study, four teachers with varied experience in teaching children with special needs were randomly assigned to eight students each; and asked to provide Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs) using Assessment View. Results included a 43% reduction in data collection errors.