Since its launch in February 2016, the free app — ASDetect — has more than 10,000 registered users, with over 6500 assessments undertaken to date.
The app uses questions drawn from breakthrough research at La Trobe’s Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC), undertaken by research fellow Dr Josephine Barbaro, and gives parents access to video footage from actual clinical assessments and clearly demonstrates the context and expected key behaviours of children at each age.
An estimated 1 in 50 children have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and research by OTARC shows that the majority are not diagnosed until they are over four years old, more than two years after they can be reliably diagnosed and receive life-changing intervention.
A team of Salesforce engineers, designers and developers volunteered their time to build the app on the Salesforce platform.
OTARC director Professor Cheryl Dissanayake said the AIIA award was “wonderful recognition of the ground breaking early autism detection work being done at La Trobe”.
“In partnering with Salesforce — our early identification methodology — is now available to parents around the globe who may have concerns about their very young children’s development. The app, while not a diagnosis, can provide a crucial opportunity for prompt professional follow-up, and maximise a child’s learning and developmental opportunities.’
Dan Bognar, senior vice-president, Asia Pacific at Salesforce, said: “We are thrilled to win this prestigious Australian award, it is a huge testament to OTARC's vision and the innovation that only Salesforce can deliver. The award highlights the disruptive power of cloud and mobile technology to unlock groundbreaking research and create a positive social impact globally. We thank our team of Salesforce volunteers for their teamwork and dedication in bringing this incredible initiative to life – it has touched so many children's lives already.”