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Nazareth Faculty Member Creates Innovative App Used by Student Clinicians

Published November 07, 2016

It’s the first of its kind app that helps provide cognitive assessment after brain injury, and it was co-developed by Nazareth Clinical Professor Heather Coles and University of Rochester Medical Center’s Chief of Occupational Therapy Simon Carson. The innovative app is now being used  by Nazareth Health and Human Services students training in the College’s on-campus Brain Injury Clinic.

Coles collaborated with Carson to create an innovative app for cognitive assessment. The Functional Standardized Touchscreen Assessment of Cognition (FSTAC) tests an individual’s ability to complete everyday tasks like managing medications and navigating a grocery store. Designed to be used following injuries ranging from concussion to stroke to progressive neurologic disorder, the FSTAC typically takes about 20 minutes to complete and automatically generates a report of the results.

Coles noted the on-campus clinics at Nazareth that students work in to serve the Rochester community provide the perfect testing ground for the app. Students in the Brain Injury Clinic are currently using the tool as part of their evaluation battery, learning how to look at tests in ways that capture important individualized information versus just looking at test results in isolation. Coles plans on doing research with students using the app across occupational therapy and the Brain Injury Clinic.

In a healthcare environment where length of stay continues to grow progressively shorter, technology is integrated more and more into rehabilitation, and  there is a steady movement away from paper documentation and towards electronic medical records, Coles and Carson saw a need for an electronic assessment tool that immediately generated an evaluation. FSTAC is easily accessible because of its ability to be administered using an iPad and designed to assess daily living skills that are often difficult to evaluate in a clinical setting.


To read further, be sure to check out Cole’s and Carson’s website.

For More Information

Julie Long: 585-389-2456 or

Nazareth College’s academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts. The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester, N.Y., challenges and supports 2,300 undergrads and 700 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon arts and sciences core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life’s work.