App4Autism: An Integrated Assistive Technology with Heart Rate Monitoring for Children with Autism

  • Cheng Yee Yap
  • Kher Hui NgEmail author
  • Yungen Cheah
  • Suk Yee Lim
  • Jessica Price
  • Marieke De Vries
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11870)


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological development disorder that affects communication and behavior. Most assistive technologies for children with autistic traits have been designed to support single, targeted activity function such as learning and communication. In this paper, we report the design and development of an assistive mobile application with heart rate monitoring to help children with ASD in their daily life activities. The integrated mobile application, App4Autism was developed using a holistic design approach with the aim of enhancing communication, interaction and learning skills while providing emotion regulation support through music listening and heart rate monitoring. A novel focus of App4Autism is on noise sensitivity; to play music upon automatic detection of loud excessive noise (in decibel) while at the same time, monitoring the user’s heart rate using a pulse sensor. The paper focuses on a study to better understand the potential use and incorporation of music listening and heart rate/anxiety level monitoring in the app. The paper provides results of investigation into which music genre is more suitable to keep users calm. Initial experiment involved a general population sample; with results showing that personal music preference might have calming effects on users in environments with excessive background noise. We further expand on the design guidelines for creating an integrated assistive technology.


Autism Early childhood intervention Mobile application Heart rate monitoring Assistive Technology 



We would like to thank Miss Rani from the SCSOA for allowing us to conduct ethnographic studies and interviews at the childcare centre to help understand the needs of children with autism and by providing valuable suggestions and insights.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cheng Yee Yap
    • 1
  • Kher Hui Ng
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yungen Cheah
    • 2
  • Suk Yee Lim
    • 2
  • Jessica Price
    • 2
  • Marieke De Vries
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of Nottingham MalaysiaSemenyihMalaysia
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of Nottingham MalaysiaSemenyihMalaysia

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