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Aplicación móvil para smartphones y tabletas que aborda el diagnóstico e intervención de niños con trastorno del espectro autista desde una perspectiva lúdica


Oferta Tecnológica
Un centro de investigación de una universidad española ha desarrollado un juego para smartphones y tabletas que ofrece una experiencia y diagnóstico e intervención del trastorno del espectro autista (ASD) más estimulantes para el niño que con el enfoque convencional basado en pruebas. Este producto también permite desarrollar las competencias emocionales de cualquier niño. El centro de investigación busca socios con el fin de transferir la tecnología mediante acuerdos de licencia, y ofrece acuerdos de cooperación tecnológica en caso de que el licenciatario precise asistencia técnica para desarrollar la aplicación.


Mobile app game for smartphones and tablets to approach children´s diagnosis and intervention of autist spectrum disorders (ASD) from playful perspective
A Spanish university research center has developed a game for smartphones and tablets to make the experience of diagnosis and intervention of autist spectrum disorder (ASD) more stimulating for children than the classical test-based approach, which is also valid to develop emotional competences of any children. They want to transfer this technology through a license agreement. A technological cooperation agreement would be offered, if technical support is required by licensee to produce the app.
When speaking about anomalies or retardation in acquiring social and emotional competences, the official statistics of the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that in average 1 out of 160 children has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). People with anomalies or retardation in acquiring social and emotional competences are often subject to stigma and discrimination. Early-detection and evidence-based psychosocial interventions help to overcome the difficulties in managing emotions and in having a social behaviour, with a positive impact on wellbeing and quality of life.
Presently, the diagnosis of ASD is carried out by physicians and psychologists by administering autism-specific behavioral evaluations, which are mainly based on classical physiological test, such as Empathy Quotinet Test (EQ) or the autism spectrum quotient - Children´s version (AQ-Child).
With the aim of making the environment for ASD diagnosis and intervention more accessible, inclusive and supportive for children, a Spanish public university research center has developed an application for smartphones and tablets, which makes it possible to evaluate and improve the emotional and social competences of boys and girls between 3 and 12 years of age.
By combining the videogame design with analytical logic and the data collection of classical tests, the app gets a more friendly evaluating experience, as going through the application becomes far more stimulating for children than going through the traditional psychological tests. In addition to this, with this application the relevant data is automatically collected and digitally stored.
The app is totally visual and follows the style used in videogames, the presentation of the items is adaptable to the rhythm of each user, helping thus to overcome the difficulties of working memory, so present in children with ASD or other social/emotional disorders.
The app is structured at five levels of increasing difficulty:
1) Recognition of facial expressions.
2) Construction of facial expressions.
3) Identification of emotions from common situations.
4) Recognition of emotions based on cognitive experiences.
5) Recognition of hidden emotions.
At each level, the children interact with different screens that reproduce scenes of daily emotional episodes in children´s social life, i.e. situations that occur in the playground, in the park, in the supermarket, etc. Through the game the child is put to identify the emotions at play. The gamer performance (that is to say the emotions chosen in each situation presented by the game) is recorded and remains stored in a database.
For evaluation purposes, the app is designed to be administered individually in about 20 minutes, depending on the age of the child and the difficulties present. It includes a manual that guides the professional through the assessment and evaluation of the data collected by the app, containing instructions for each level and narrations that contextualize the situations the children are confronted to at levels 3, 4 and 5. The manual provides as well exercises and practical guidelines for an adequate intervention.
When developing the application the focus has been put especially in children with ASD, but it is also applicable to child population in general. With the app it becomes possible to evaluate and treat retardation and anomalies in boys´ and girls´ capacity to recognize and manage their emotions.
The public university research center wants to transfer this technology through a license agreement. The ideal partner would be software and app developers specialized in education or healthcare sectors. A technological cooperation agreement is offered if the licensee requires technical support to produce the app.
Advantages and Innovations:
Compared to more traditional methodology, the videogame format it is far more motivating for children and helps to prevent distractions during diagnosis and intervention, which is a frequent problem the professionals face when treating children with ASD.
A major effort has been put into the general appearance and graphic and design, which makes the app very attractive to children.
From diagnosis point of view, it allows having a comprehensive profile of each child in terms of emotional competences, and shows the guidelines for intervention adapted to each profile.
From the intervention point of view, the app adapts to the characteristics of each children with neurodevelopmental disorders, so features of the game (i.e. provision of images, sequencing of the content, etc.) is adaptable to the pace of each child, thereby helping them to overcome difficulties in information processing (attention, memory, language, etc.).
The data is collected and stored in digital format, which facilitates further analytical processes.
There is no other specific, comprehensive tool on the market validated for the evaluation of the emotional competence in normal population and ASD simultaneously.
Stage of Development:
Field tested/evaluated
CommeR Statunts Regarding IPR Status:
Registered software.

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
The ideal partner would be software and mobile app developers for education or healthcare sectors; they should be willing to exploit this technology through a license agreement. It is also interesting for sectors in which the development of emotional and social competences is important, i.e. companies, so business software developers could also be a good licensee profile. Through the license agreement the licensee will have full right to produce and commercialize the app. The public university research center offers a technical cooperation agreement if the licensee requires technical support to produce the app.


Type and Size of Client:
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:


Technology Keywords:
01003006 Computer Software
01006012 Description Image/Video Computing
06001002 Investigaciones clínicas, ensayos
01003004 Juegos de ordenador
06001014 Neurología, investigación cerebral