UBC student wins competition after developing anxiety-tracking device for those with autism

West Mall, BC – A UBC student has won a recent Global Impact competition for developing an anxiety-tracking device for those with autism spectrum disorder.

Andrea Palmer, a mechanical engineering student, created Reveal in hopes of aiding both individuals with autism as well as their caregivers to effectively identify anxiety and thus prevent potential emotional “meltdowns.” The device was initially developed for professionals at risk of burnout, however now the aim is to assist those with special needs and disorders including ASD.

Essentially, Reveal works by measuring the wearer of the device’s heart rate, body temperature and perspiration levels and when the individuals’ stress level is elevated, an alert is sent to his or her caregiver via a smart phone. However Palmer asserts that the goal is not only for a carer to potentially prevent a meltdown, it also serves to enable the individual wearing the device to identify the onset of one and proactively regulate their stress levels as well.

The future engineer’s creativity and innovation has thus been recognized not only by Global Impact but also by Singularity University where she has landed a spot in its graduate studies program. Palmer will be therefore be spending the summer months in Silicon Valley further developing the device in order to complete the first portion of her post-graduate work.

Source: Megan Christopher on the Medical XPress website: Study finds autism awareness among future healthcare workers still has room for improvement