Behavioral observation is an important tool for early diagnosis of many neurological disorders in children. Behaviors like repetitive movements, staring spells, and tantrums can be early signs of serious disorders like autism, epilepsy and ADHD. Such intermittent behaviors are difficult to capture during brief clinical visits, and accounts from caregivers are usually biased and imprecise. The holy grail of behavioral observation is continuous observation over days or even weeks in naturalistic environments such as home or school. Such a system is useful not only for diagnosis but also for tracking effectiveness of treatments and detailed functional analysis of problematic behaviors. Existing video behavior-coding systems cannot be used as they lack privacy protection of patients and bystanders as required by certain laws (the HIPPA and FERPA laws). This project focuses on the development and commercialization of an audiovisual recording and coding system for clinical use, specifically designed to capture human behaviors in naturalistic environments such as home and school.
This project focuses on the development and commercialization of the Video Interface for Behavioral Evaluation (VIBE) system. A key enabling feature of VIBE is its innovative use of visual privacy protection: a "privacy bubble" around the patient can be set up for observation, whereas the rest of the environment is blurred. All the stakeholders can jointly decide on the extent of the bubble to balance the privacy needs and the utility of the recorded video. In addition to the 'privacy bubble,' VIBE supports a wide array of automatic event filters that help clinicians to identify not only the behavioral episodes, but also the antecedent and the consequence of the behaviors, enabling the design of a more comprehensive treatment plan.