Adjusting for the Future: Northeast College Opens FAST Lab Featuring Latest Technologies
In Fall 2022, Northeast College of Health Science unveiled a new learning space featuring the latest innovation in chiropractic education. The Force Assessment Simulation Technology (FAST) Lab boasts the same ground-breaking technology that has been helping today’s elite athletes improve and optimize their skills and performance.
Northeast’s FAST Lab was officially introduced during a grand-opening ceremony on Oct. 13, 2022, where media, faculty, staff and students participated in demonstrations on how Force Sensing Table Technology™ (FSST) works and how it can help train expert chiropractic adjustors.
College President Dr. Michael Mestan said the revolutionary technology incorporated in the FAST Lab will complement Northeast’s already-rich curriculum of lectures, clinical rotations and human cadaveric dissection labs to provide yet another tool in an education designed for student success.
The FAST Lab: How It Works
In the FAST Lab, Northeast’s doctor of chiropractic students work with human analogue mannequins on treatment tables, both embedded with Force Sensing Table Technology™ that allows them to receive on-demand data regarding adjustment force, direction, amplitude and speed. This information guides the learning process as students develop the psychomotor skills to make accurate high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust adjustments.
The Lab also uses Dartfish technology, which allows video data of each adjustment to be collected in real-time. FAST Lab mannequins and tables are equipped with sensors and cameras that capture each adjustor’s motions, mapping out the biomechanics of the adjustor's body. This provides data about each student’s position, stance and movement which, with faculty help, can be analyzed to optimize adjustment efficiency and effectiveness.
Northeast is Ever-better, Ever-forward
At Northeast, our Doctor of Chiropractic program has embraced an ever-better philosophy for 103 years and counting. Northeast’s future doctors study hands-on for three-plus years to graduate as outstanding adjustors. Why is this important? The act of making an adjustment is, to the chiropractor, what the swing is to the pro golfer. Professionals are always looking for ways to improve and perfect their skills, and Northeast’s FAST Lab provides yet another tool for chiropractic students to do just that. By measuring the force and speed of each adjustment and analyzing the adjustor’s body movements, the new technology provides immediate and objective feedback during interactive learning – revolutionary in chiropractic education.
“The technology is a great tool for providing direct feedback,” said Dr. Brett Carnevale, assistant professor in the Integrated Chiropractic Therapies Department at Northeast. “Professors can’t feel what students are doing or feel what they feel. This tool provides feedback a person can’t. It adds to our expertise and helps our students build the confidence and technique skills they need to succeed.”
Northeast Lab Considered Among Best in Chiropractic Education
Northeast’s FAST Lab is among the best chiropractic education facilities of its kind, said Dr. David Starmer, education coordinator at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and integral figure in the creation of the original FSST technology.
“Northeast has an ideal lab set up for its students.” said Starmer, who has worked closely with all FSTT user institutions. “From my perspective (Northeast College) is primed to be among the leader institutions in the educational arena based on how it has positioned the lab so far and how collaborative its team has been.”
Research and the Future of the FAST Lab
As the FAST Lab develops, Northeast faculty will continue to incorporate technology allowing the College to support the performance and progress of each chiropractic student from the time they make their first adjustment until graduation.
Northeast Dean of Research Dr. Jean Burke said the College will also be conducting research that highlights not only how this new technology compliments the Northeast learning experience but that also grows understanding and subsequent education around chiropractic’s therapeutic effectiveness and patient comfort. As Burke said, “We need to find out how to add the patient perspective.”
Overall, the future of the FAST Lab is one of growth and progress. “I am very impressed by (Northeast’s) commitment to build a lab that can properly support the cohort of students. Administrators asked all the right questions, learned from other user institutions about what worked well and what didn’t, and then planned what I believe is an ideal lab for (Northeast students),” said Dr. Starmer. “I am really excited to see Northeast integrate this technology.”
The opening of the FAST Lab is consistent with our pursuit of excellence and our commitment to educating the next generation of chiropractors who will be ... some of the very best adjustors in the profession.Dr. Michael Mestan
Northeast College President