Netherlands Surface MVP Dennis Vroegop has teamed with entrepreneur Freena Eijffinger to develop an innovative touch diagnostic tool that helps diagnose autism in children using Microsoft Surface technology.

The inspiration for the tool, Autitouch, began when it took more than seven years for doctors to diagnose Asperger’s Disorder in Freena’s brother. She began searching for a more interactive, computerized model that could accelerate the process, and discovered the potential that Surface technology had to offer.

She teamed with Dennis early in the development process, who volunteered countless hours helping to create the tool. “Developing for Surface is just like any other piece of software,” said Dennis. “You have to have a design, skilled developers and designers, and of course a lot of passion.”

With the help of a large grant, the support of two medical universities in the Netherlands, and Microsoft’s donation of a Surface Unit, Autitouch is poised to help people and families with autism all around the world. By developing intuitive software through a Natural User Interface, children from 3 years of age and up are able to “make contact with” and “communicate through” hardware such as the Microsoft Surface – something these children could not do before.

A six-month research project in collaboration with the psychology department of the VU University in Amsterdam recently showed promising results for Autitouch. It has opened the door to seek official validation through a study with 400 participants, which is expected to commence in February or March next year.

You can find out more about the tool and the work Dennis has been doing here.