We live in a world that is constantly evolving and there are few areas where this is truer than in the world of technology. It seems that no matter what kind of tech you buy, within a few months, it is ready to be upgraded or replaced.
At Amvik Solutions, we focus on handling everything behind the scenes through our practice management software, so that you can focus on the important work you do with your patients and families.
Providing the best care at your ABA clinic goes hand in hand with keeping up with the latest trends in therapy and deciding if they can be incorporated into existing methods. Technology, and robotics, in particular, is quickly becoming a part of the medical field and there are plenty of exciting new possibilities for how it can be used as a part of ABA therapy for.
One of the biggest concerns for children with autism is how they interact with others and the world around them. This worry covers everything from how they communicate and listen to the way they handle stress.
These are vital to the quality of their lives both at home and at school, and researchers from LuxAI have developed their own answer to this issue: the QTrobot. Standing just over 2-feet tall, “Cutie” is humanoid in appearance and has an interactive screen in place of a face. This substitution does not limit QT in its ability to communicate, as it is able to speak, see, and listen, as well project non-verbal forms of communication by flashing expressions on the screen and using body gestures.
Of special note, one of the features that the team at LuxAI really focused on is QTrobot’s ability to repeat different forms of communication in exactly the same way it has done previously.
The variability in daily interactions can be difficult for children with autism spectrum disorder and providing consistency was one thing that was very important to the robot’s developers.
The Study and Its Findings
As cute as QTrobot may be, any interactive technology is judged by the science behind it. The team at LuxAI understood the value of research and made sure to validate the abilities of the robotic companion by carefully analyzing how children interacted with it.
The developers of QTrobot gathered a group of 15 children, ages 4-14, who had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in order to effectively understand the ability of the tech. The sessions consisted of two interviews, one with a person and the other with the robot, which primarily involved telling a story and asking the child if they liked it and if they could repeat certain gestures the interviewer made. Each interview lasted less than five minutes.
The researchers focused on whether the children were as attentive to the robot as they were to the human interviewer person and whether interacting with the robot had any effect on repetitive behaviors.
While the study only included a small sample size, the results were promising, as the team found that the children looked more frequently at the robot and were just as likely to imitate the gestures of the QTrobot as they were to imitate their human interviewer.
As with any good scientific practice, the team at LuxAI was quick not to get ahead of itself with any outlandish claims of a breakthrough.
The positive results they saw do make it very likely that QT could be helpful in developing social skills in children with autism. At the same time, there are certain factors that could have changed the effectiveness of the robot, or which could have led to such positive results.
One focus, in particular, that was highlighted by LuxAI’s team of researchers, was the length of the interviews. Since the interviews lasted under five minutes each, there is the possibility that an extended period of time working with the QTrobot could cause a child to lose interest, negatively impacting their attention and interaction.
As with most new technology and therapy techniques, there is the need for additional study to determine just how effective a robotic companion can be in helping children with autism develop social skills.
The QTrobot may or may not someday be an integral part of the therapy that is provided to children with autism. Still, it is just one case in a growing trend of possibilities in which robotics will play a role in ABA therapy.
Amvik Solutions: The Practice Management System and Team You Need.
Amvik Solutions knows just how quickly things can change for those running an ABA practice, whether it be patient needs, legislation, or theory. That’s where we come in.
Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can lighten your workload and allow you to concentrate on what is most important in your practice, the children you work with and their families, through our practice management system.