Facial recognition software developed by scientists at Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., is helping researchers to diagnose worldwide genetic diseases. Researchers with the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) were able to diagnose a rare, genetic disease known as DiGeorge syndrome in Africans, Asians and Latin Americans. The disease results in multiple defects throughout the body, including cleft palate, heart defects, a characteristic facial appearance and learning problems, healthcare providers often fail to pinpoint the disease in diverse populations. The researchers studied the clinical information of 106 participants and photographs of 101 participants with the disease from 11 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The subjects’ appearances varied widely across the groups. Using the facial analysis technology, the researchers compared a group of 156 Caucasians, Africans, Asians and Latin Americans with the disease to people without the disease. Based on 126 individual facial features, researchers made correct diagnoses for all ethnic groups 96.6 percent of the time. Earlier diagnoses can lead to earlier treatment for the diseases.