Information, Child Mental Health and Society (2014-2015)

Imagine a world where we understand how to detect mental health and developmental problems in early childhood so that we can intervene early in life and prevent future suffering and impairment.

This project team contributed to an important collaboration among researchers at Duke University and Duke Medical Center that was launched in October 2015 as an Apple ResearchKit app called Autism & Beyond. The free app invites parents and young children to take part in a study. First, the child watches four short videos while the iPhone camera records the child’s reactions. Next, the parent is asked to complete short surveys. Finally, the parent can upload the whole recording or just the face features. The app is intended not to diagnose but to test the reliability of smartphone questionnaires and video analysis of facial expressions as a possible screening tool for autism and other developmental disorders. The team has been working with colleagues in China to roll out a Mandarin version.



Team Outcomes

Helen L. Egger, Geraldine Dawson, Jordan Hashemi, Kimberly L. H. Carpenter, Steven Espinosa, Kathleen Campbell, Samuel Brotkin, Jana Shaich-Borg, Qiang Qiu, Mariano Tepper, Jeffrey P. Baker, Ricky Bloomfield, Guillermo Sapiro. 2018. Automatic Emotion and Attention Analysis of Young Children at Home: A ResearchKit Autism Feasibility Study. npj Digital Medicine June 1.

Geraldine Dawson and Scott Kollins, Co-occurring ADHD in young children with ASD: Precursors, detection, neural signatures, and early treatment ($12,500,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health, 2017)

Autism & Beyond

Information, Child Mental Health and Society (poster)


Autism Screening App: Check This Out!

Researchers Are Using Machine Learning to Screen for Autism in Children

Apple Video Featuring the Project

“Autism & Beyond” Apple App: From the Creators

“Autism & Beyond” App Example

Risk Assessment for Autism in Young Children

About the Autism & Beyond Study

Autism & Beyond - DIHI ResearchKit Project

Duke Duets: Autism Research


Jordan Hashemi

This Team in the News

For Duke Researchers, Internal Seed Funding Yields a Robust Harvest

Researchers Create App to Diagnose, Help Treat Autism

Researchers Are Using Machine Learning to Screen for Autism in Children

Speeding Autism Diagnosis, Improving Outcomes Using Machine Learning

Noted Autism Researcher Named Director of Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

Geri Dawson Named Director of Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

Outreach Podcast on Autism App Features Postdoc Jordan Hashemi

Screening for Autism

Research on Mobile App Identifies Route to Broader, Easier Access to Autism Screening

Faculty Perspectives: Geraldine Dawson

Mobile App for Autism Screening Yields Useful Data

These Ph.D. Graduates Played Key Roles in Their Bass Connections Projects

Duke Receives $12.5 Million to Study Children With Autism and ADHD

There's an App for That: Enabling Early Intervention in Autism

Autism App Team Wins Cultural Diversity Award

The Innovators

Duke Researchers Developing App to Screen for Autism

Putting Big Data to Work in Autism Diagnosis

Working Together to Change the Lives of Children and Families

Jordan Hashemi: My Bass Connections Pathway

Big Data and...the Arts?

Duke Launches Autism Research App

Could This iPhone App Transform How We Diagnose Autism?

Apple’s Latest ResarchKit Apps Are Taking on Autism and Epilepsy 

Apple Announces New ResearchKit Studies for Autism, Epilepsy & Melanoma

Apple Partners with Hospitals for New ResearchKit Studies on Autism, Epilepsy, Melanoma

New Research Apps Use iPhone and Apple Watch to Track Autism, Epilepsy and Melanoma

ResearchKit Collaboration Showcases Duke Teamwork and Speed

Apple to Harness iPhone Data for Autism, Epilepsy and Melanoma Studies

Can an App Help Detect Autism?

Employees Honored with Teamwork, Diversity Awards

Autism Research App Developed

Chasing the Next Autism Breakthrough

Event Brief: Big Insights into Little People

This project team was originally part of the Education & Human Development theme of Bass Connections, which ended in 2022. See earlier related team, Information, Child Mental Health and Society (2013-2014).

Team Leaders

  • Geri Dawson, School of Medicine-Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Helen Egger, School of Medicine-Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Guillermo Sapiro, Pratt School of Engineering-Electrical & Computer Engineering

/graduate Team Members

  • Jordan Hashemi, Electrical/Computer Engg-PHD

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Edward Kim, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)
  • Meghan Scanlon, Statistical Science (BS)
  • Rosa Yang, Biology (BS)

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Apple