‘Portable Hug’ Vest, Designed To Improve Quality of Life For Autistic Patients

Accepting the prize
Therapeutic Systems, a concept business thought up by U of Mass at Amherst doctoral student Brian Mullen, won the $50,000 grand prize at the May 8 Technology Innovation Challenge (TIC).

Therapeutic Systems plans to market a novel “deep-pressure vest,” developed in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, that improves mental healthcare and the quality of life for people with mental illness, especially autism, by providing a “portable hug.” An estimated 3 million to 4 million patients suffer from developmental disorders such as autism.

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Research tool can detect autism at 9 months of age

Early Autism Study

The ability to detect autism in children as young as nine months of age is on the horizon, according to researchers at McMaster University.

The Early Autism Study, led by Mel Rutherford, associate professor of psychology in the Faculty of Science, has been using eye tracker technology that measures eye direction while the babies look at faces, eyes, and bouncing balls on a computer screen.

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