The Institute for Cognitive Prosthetics

For more Information contact:

Elliot Cole, PhD, Institute for Cognitive Prosthetics

P.O. Box 171, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Email: ecole@brain-rehab.com

Elliot Cole, PhD


Elliot Cole, PhD, is the founder and president of the Institute for Cognitive Prosthetics. Dr. Cole is a computer scientist, and is internationally recognized for his expertise in designing computing technology for treating cognitive disabilities. In computer science, his interest is the human side of computing, looking at ways that individuals and groups can use computers to better achieve  own ends.   This fits in well with his work in rehabilitation therapy and telerehabilitation. His focus has been on increasing techniques for therapists to treat their patients, and developing computer applications for patients to use in their everyday lives.  Among his contributions is the Telerehabilitation Therapy Toolkit into the patient’s home, Cognitive Prosthetic Software which can be highly personalized to the individual’s needs, Patient-Centered Design, and the development of new therapy techniques. His area is designing of software to make work, home, community, and leisure activities easier to do.


In the mid-1980s, he was given a tour of a residential traumatic brain injury rehabilitation center, and became convinced that computer technology could reduce some of the disabilities experienced by individuals following a TBI.  A pilot study provided Proof-of-Concept, that computer software could be a cognitive prosthesis for TBI.  Part of the success of the project was due to the person-centered approach he took in working with the individual.


He then founded the Institute for Cognitive Prosthetics as a R&D center, with the mission of bringing technology to the TBI rehabilitation field, which wasn’t using computers for therapy.


Dr. Cole built the R&D staff with people from both clinical disciplines and computing disciplines, coupled with healthcare research.


The approach to technology design was patient-centered (the needs of a TBI patient, who had both disabilities and strengths) rather than problem-centered (the common needs of TBI patients with cognitive disabilities).   The patient-centered approach was implemented so that the individual became active and engaged in the refinement and use of the software.  Also, clinicians and software designers worked side-by-side, which enhanced communication between the two sets of disciplines, resulting in useful technology.  This approach proved very productive.  Among the innovations was the use of cognitive prosthetic software as a therapy tool.


The National Institutes of Health awarded several grants to the Dr. Cole, including grants from the Division of Fundamental Neuroscience.   Participating clinical sites included the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Dartmouth Medical School, and Moss Rehabilitation Hospital.  Dr. Cole served as an NIH Study Section member for six years; Study Sections provide the scientific peer review of research proposals.  Dr. Cole has also served as a proposal reviewer for the National Science Foundation, The Department of Defense, the National Institute for Disabilities and Rehabilitation Research, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


Dr. Cole is the author of more than 100 papers and presentations at scientific and professional meetings in North America, Great Britain, Europe, and Australia.  He was A Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania\s Organization Dynamics program, for the 2012/2013 academic year where he was exploring issues of the diffusion of technological innovation in healthcare.


Therapy that empowers you . . . Technology that brings you home

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