Early Identification of ASD Through Telemedicine: Potential Value for Underserved Populations [2018]

Increasing access to diagnostic services is crucial for identifying ASD in young children. We therefore evaluated a telemedicine assessment procedure. First, we compared telediagnostic accuracy to blinded gold-standard evaluations (n = 20). ASD cases identified via telemedicine were confirmed by in-person evaluation. However, 20% of children diagnosed with ASD in-person were not diagnosed via telemedicine. Second, we evaluated telediagnostic feasibility and acceptability in a rural catchment. Children (n = 45) and caregivers completed the telemedicine procedure and provided feedback. Families indicated high levels of satisfaction. Remote diagnostic clinicians diagnosed 62% of children with ASD, but did not feel capable of ruling-in or out ASD in 13% of cases. Findings support preliminary feasibility, accuracy, and clinical utility of telemedicine-based assessment of ASD for young children.

A. Pablo Juárez, Amy S. Weitlauf, Amy Nicholson, Anna Pasternak, Neill Broderick, Jeffrey Hine, J. Alacia Stainbrook, Zachary Warren
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, August 2018, Volume 48, Issue 8