"Using face-matching technology to help find a diagnosis for people with intellectual disability."

With support from:

Newcastle Permanent Building SocietyHunter Medical Research InstituteHunter New England HealthJohn Hunter Children's HospitalIMAGUSPriority Research Centre

About FaceMatch

The cause of intellectual disability (ID) is mostly genetic. However, up to 70 percent of people with ID remain without a diagnosis despite having had genetic testing.

Although genetic changes causing ID can be inherited from one or both parents, ID often occurs for the first time in a child.

Many people with ID have facial features which can provide a clue to diagnosis.

FaceMatch uses Imagus computer face-matching technology to match the faces of people with undiagnosed moderate to severe intellectual disability (ID).

By matching faces from around the world, we hope to be able to match people with the same rare genetic conditions.

We will also compare the faces of individuals without a diagnosis with those who have a confirmed genetic diagnosis.

As there are many genes of unknown function, comparing the genetic test results of individuals with matching facial features may lead to the discovery of new ID genes.

FaceMatch is the first research project of its kind to use computer technology to match the faces of individuals who remain undiagnosed following genetic testing.

The chance of finding a match will increase as more people participate in the FaceMatch Project.

Things to know


The aim of the FaceMatch Project is to improve the chance of obtaining a genetic diagnosis for children and adults with intellectual disability around the world.
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Matching faces

Matching children with similar facial features may help identify the genetic cause of their intellectual disability.

FaceMatch technology

The FaceMatch Project uses computer vision technology to match the faces of individuals from around the world.
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The project will be inviting individuals with diagnosed or undiagnosed intellectual disability to participate following informed consent.
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Parents and doctors can provide medical and genetic information.
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Email contact

Parents will be asked to provide an email contact for the clinical geneticist/medical specialist who cares for their son or daughter.
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Online privacy and security

Information and facial images will be securely stored.
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Facial match

If a high probability match is made, doctors can arrange to meet the parents to discuss the possible significance of the match.
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Doctor-only participation

Your doctor can provide information and photographs of your child on your behalf.
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