Summer 2012

Video Screening for ADD

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The Next Step

One of the key problems neurologists face is that in researching neurological problems they have few available means for collecting empirical or objective data outside the clinic on how patients go about their daily lives. What they do have are "interviews, standardized tests and performance markers…,what you [ideally] need is a neurologist or other professional sitting on your shoulder and unobtrusively collecting numerical data outside of the controlled laboratory situation."
Dr. Tal Hassner, Department of Computer Sciences
The idea behind this novel way of mining information from large data bases is not to replace neurologists, but rather to "give the neurologist more tools to decide if a particular patient is considered ADD or not."

A screening mechanism such as this can have broad impact – it can be deployed in educational institutions or during army service – and bring to the neurologist or educator's attention which individuals are having problems with attention span and therefore are not maximizing their potential. In this way, educational institutions can offer the right adjustments in teaching and testing to address their specific needs and the army can offer positions in areas in which they excel and avoid certain tasks that might be less suited to them.

Services for ADD Students at the Open University

The Open University of Israel has a number of students who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. The University's in-house professional division in conjunction with academic staff, creates individualized learning programs to promote the student's achievements and abilities and overcome some of the hurdles inherent in their make-up.

Many of these students, prior to arriving at the Open University, may not have been aware that they have ADD and have not received the help they need, while at the University, once diagnosed, they have been able to take advantage of a wealth of services offered by the University's Center for Students with Learning Disabilities. Many of these OUI students have attained excellent achievements, gone on to post-graduate degrees and continued in research or in other professional capacities, and realized their potential in many rewarding ways.

It is essential for people with ADD to be aware of the source of their difficulties and know how to overcome the obstacles, especially in a learning environment and other environments that require lengthy concentration.

Using video to identify the problems could assist those who are frustrated with the difficulties they are experiencing in studies and could assist neurologists with an additional and effective tool of diagnosis.

Dr. Hassner, one of the University's avid researchers, will continue to 'mine' the information and seek to further refine it.

One of the beauties of this screening system is the economics. You are mining information that exists; there's no need to build a new system, so the cost savings can be quite dramatic. But, then again, so, too, can be the results.

The team's paper was recently published in the SAGE Journal of Attention Disorders.
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