2024 Top Trending Features in Electronic Data Collection in ABA

January 29, 2024
Written by:
Brian Curley

2023 was a year of growth, learning, excitement, and surpassing expectations for Motivity. As we enter 2024, we like to think that we keep our eyes and ears pretty close to the pulse of what’s trending in the ABA technology market, so we should have a good idea as to what customers are asking for with an electronic data collection system. Countless demos, conversations, and Instagram and Facebook comments have led us here, to the top trending features in electronic data collection in ABA. 

↑ Trending Up: Best-in-Class Integrations

A prominent trend in Electronic Data Collection in ABA is the demand for comprehensive integrations with ABA practice management systems. The more people we talk to, the more questions we get about full integrations with ABA practice management systems. Over the past year, we’ve been working tirelessly to integrate with multiple practice management systems in the market, and are proud to announce that all of them will be complete by the end of the year. By the end of 2023, Motivity will have complete integrations with AlohaABA, TherapyPMS, and Lumary. Each one of these integrations brings something a little unique to the table, giving our customers the choice to find their very own “best in breed” solution for their practice. We are even beginning to see a small trend of customers wanting to split their practice management solutions into scheduling and billing partners as well, using systems like Juniper.

↑ Trending Up: Custom Prompt Scoring

In the sphere of Electronic Data Collection in ABA, custom prompt scoring has gained significant traction. We’ve seen custom prompt scoring come up more and more in our conversations this year. We see that practices using the PEAK Relational Training System and SBT data collection find that being able to assign a points system to prompts helps them customize their data collection and achieve even better clinical outcomes. Thankfully Motivity can do completely custom prompt scoring, giving our customers a significantly better process, experience, and ultimately better clinical outcomes.

↑ Trending Up: Treatment Plans & Reports

Creating effective treatment plans and reports is a challenging aspect of Electronic Data Collection in ABA. This is a feature that seems like no one has been able to get right. Creating an accurate, user-friendly, editable, and most importantly fast, treatment plan or report is very difficult. Most of the current solutions on the market can only do one or two of the above-mentioned things well, but not all of them. This leads to users having to resort to manual options, like Microsoft Word or Google Docs - pasting in screenshots of charts and constantly copy and pasting and repeating the same information. Motivity has built a treatment plan and reporting feature that we believe will tick all of the boxes. It’s fast, it’s accurate, it’s extremely user-friendly, and – as of December 2023, it’s currently in testing! Keep an eye and ear out for announcements of when it’ll be released.

↑ Trending Up: Clinical Decision Support

Clinical decision support (CDS) technology is becoming a vital component in Electronic Data Collection in ABA. CDS technology is a helpful tool that provides timely information to assist clinicians in making decisions about a patient's care. These tools and systems analyze data, warn of potential problems, and offer suggestions for the clinical team and patient to consider. Motivity has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create CDS features that will help clinicians identify areas where learners and staff may need clinical review and attention. This includes monitoring behavior spikes, plateaus, and regression. Motivity is funded by NIH grants focused exactly on these features and they are roadmapped to be built in 2024 and 2025. 

↓ Trending Down: Offline Mode

Over the past 5-7 years, we’ve seen the request for offline mode continue to persist. That is until this year. Without doubt, there is a strong desire for an electronic data collection system that can perform and provide all the functionality needed in remote areas of the country, or areas where WiFi or cellular data just isn’t available. But just as in everyone saying you had to buy all your movies on DVDs, those desires are starting to fade. Cellular data coverage is getting better and better almost every day, satellite wifi is proving to be a very viable option for those in very remote areas, and in-home broadband wifi has almost become a standard in many homes across the United States. Pair these advancements with the changes in browser technology and being able to store more and more data locally, software systems like Motivity just continue to work, even when the internet is intermittent. Ultimately have a system that allows you to perform your job to the best of your ability, whether you have internet access or not.

↓ Trending Down: Precision Teaching

While precision teaching is valuable, its complexities in Electronic Data Collection in ABA are leading to a decline in its popularity. Precision teaching can be an effective approach to improve learning outcomes in ABA therapy. However, there are some challenges and limitations that practitioners need to consider. These include:

  • Time and resource-intensive: Implementing precision teaching can be time-consuming and require significant resources. Practitioners need specialized training and knowledge to use standard celeration charting. They also need to analyze the data to adjust their teaching approach regularly. This can be challenging for practitioners who have a large caseload or limited resources.
  • Limited accessibility: The progress shown on the standard celeration charts may not be easily generalized and understood by stakeholders (e.g. parents and funders). This may require creating standard charts for non-practitioners who may not understand them in progress reports.
  • Difficulty measuring complex skills: Precision teaching is most effective when used to measure skills that can be easily quantified, such as counting or identifying letters. However, it can be more challenging to use this method for measuring more complex skills, such as social interactions or problem-solving.

Despite these challenges and limitations, precision teaching remains a valuable tool for ABA therapists working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, it is starting to fade in the electronic data collection space.

↓ Trending Down: Mass Trials and Random Rotation

With the shift towards more naturalistic methods in ABA, certain traditional strategies in Electronic Data Collection in ABA are becoming obsolete. As ABA practitioners adopt more naturalistic and child-led approaches, outdated teaching strategies are being phased out. The use of Mass Trialing and Random Rotation, which were commonly used in Early Intensive Intervention and Discrete Trial Training, provided a rigid process for teaching discrimination training. Mass Trial involves presenting the same learning trial and instruction (SD) several times in a row. Random Rotation is a procedure in discrete-trial teaching during which a target is intermixed with random mastered targets in random order. However, new research has emerged, and more effective and socially valid methods are being used that are based on intrinsic motivation and child's interests and activities. The latest strategies and data collection methods are focused on task interspersal and errorless learning, replacing the more static Discrete Trial methods. 

↓ Trending Down: Importing Programs from Other Platforms

The complexity of migrating programs between different electronic data collection platforms is a growing concern in ABA. The transitioning from one data collection platform to another is a daunting task for everyone involved. Having to recreate many clients’ programs in another system is a task that requires clinical knowledge, accuracy, and a set of easily repeatable tasks. You would think that if your new system had an import feature that this would cut down considerably on this process right?! Unfortunately with the continued growth in electronic data collection in ABA and the many new software options on the market, as well as the customization and intricacies of individual client programs, getting two systems to understand each other is extremely complex - a whole new set of problems to solve when migrating programs. At best you might get a list of program names to start with, but ultimately the process is still a manual one and things like mastery criteria, prompts, and status’ just don’t get imported. Many of Motivity’s organizations use this process to revisit client’s programs and “tidy them up,” making sure that the new programs in Motivity are the best they can be. 

As you can see, we are working hard to stay in the know of our customers' needs. Our team is extremely proud of the work we have put in, but we are already looking forward to the future in regards to how to incorporate even more innovation into Motivity's functionality! What do you think the most requested features of 2024 will be? Whatever they are, rest assured that Motivity will be working hard to continue the advancement of technology in the pursuit of better clinical outcomes.


Integration-Specific Demos

Aug 7
3:30 pm
Aug 8
3:00 pm
Brian Curley
Chief Creative Officer