How the Kinect might soon be able to detect child autism.

Continuing in the long line of creative applications of the Microsoft Kinect, researchers are developing a new medical application for the device:

As part of an experiment at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development, Sapiro and Papanikolopoulos set up a series of five Microsoft Kinect sensors in the playroom of a school. There, the motion-detecting cameras recorded the movements of the children, aged 3 to 5, and sent the collected data to a series of PCs. The computers then calculated what children were most at risk for autism based on their hand movements and activity levels. Children whose activity levels differed greatly from their peers were flagged for further study by medical professionals.

This is continuing another recent move towards using videogames to address a number of health issues ranging from depression, PTSD, and the normally excruciating pain experienced during skin graft treatment.

Results of the study will be reported later this month.

[via Mashable]