Based on research by Dr Josie Barbaro, the ASDetect app which aids with the early identification of autism, has won the National iAward for Research and Development Project of the year.

La Trobe University and Salesforce developed the free app based on research conducted at La Trobe’s Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre by 2006 Menzies Research Scholar in the Allied Health Sciences, Dr Barbaro.

The ASDetect app, launched in February, has already been downloaded 10,000 times and provides a tool for parents and caregivers to identify behaviours which may indicate children are on the autism spectrum, so as to seek medical advice and early intervention.

Dr Barbaro completed her PhD project on ‘Prospective Identification of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Infancy: The Social Attention and Communication Study’ with the assistance of her Menzies Scholarship. She was also awarded the Menzies Foundation Allied Health Sciences Grant of $25,000 in 2012 to contribute to her work on the prospective identification of Autism Spectrum Disorder in infancy and toddlerhood.

The iAwards acknowledge innovation in the digital economy, and the combination of research excellence by Dr Barbaro and her team at La Trobe, and the donation of technology and development skills by international cloud computing company Salesforce, have made this important parent-friendly app a reality.

For more details of the award read La Trobe’s media release.