The STAC (Standardized Touchscreen Assessment of Cognition) App for iPad is an automated screening tool designed by Cognitive Innovation’s Simon Carson, OT/L, MBA and Heather Cole, MA CCC- SLP’s for health care professionals. The iPad app provides self-directed instruction of cognitive tasks, reducing administrative error and unintended evaluator bias. An efficient method of screening and assessment, the STAC reduces evaluation time, eliminates time required for scoring and management of hard copy forms.
Components of the STAC app include:
- Visual scanning and attention
- Executive functions
- Processing speed
- Components of language
Outcome of the assessment provides timed performance and ranked scores based on speed and accuracy of users test results. A four page report is generated of the results of the test available on the iPad, and can be generated for printing or emailing.
Here is a video with a look at the STAC components:
Test scores have been standardized on a normative group of 190 users ages 13-85 years of age without cognitive impairment as of October, 2014. The normative group was small for the 13-19 year old group. As additional data is accrued, strength of the percentile on the normative group will be more reliable.
The STAC app user pre-requisites are functional vision and hearing, intact motor in at least one extremity and be able to respond to simple written statements/questions. A brief training and skill check before the assessment begins determines if a user will be able to complete the assessment. The user does not need prior iPad experience.
The STAC app provides differing prices, with one free with in app purchases pending frequency of use:
5 runs of the app and report – 29.99 (in app purchase)
2 runs of the app and report – 19.99
10 runs of the app and report – 49.99
STAC Unlimited app and report is 129.99 and as stated provides an unlimited use and reports with purchase. Considering frequency of use, the unlimited version may be a cost savings considering its self-directed administration and report generation both significant time and cost savings.
A few test runs of the STAC app provided to me for review by Cognitive Innovations gave me familiarity with the assessment. Some test components were similar to other mental or cognitive screening typical for adult populations. What was different was the timed element of all of the components of the assessment. Additional language and executive function components required good recall, attention to detail and sequential skills with a timed component. The initial orientation to the iPad was thorough for the user. Knowledge of the keyboard and good spelling is necessary for the language and recall components. There were a few times that I accidentally hit enter after typing a word which reduces accuracy and timed responses. Instruction to the user regarding the keyboarding entry requirements would be helpful.
I found the results of the assessment helpful and reflective of my skills and challenges. As a rather slow and methodical test taker, my processing speed score were definitely compromised with review of my answers and my careful pace. Use of this app for the appropriate client however would definitely provide fidelity in assessment, reduce cost associated with purchasing protocols, scoring and report writing.
Last fall, I evaluated a client with significant short-term and attention challenges. This assessment would have been very helpful with quantifying the clients cognitive challenges. For professionals working with individuals with cognitive limitations, but familiar with using a keyboard and touch screen, the STAC app could be a valuable assessment tool.
Thank you to Cognitive Innovations for providing me with the opportunity to review their app.
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