Humanoid Robots for Medics Training in New Zealand

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Fraser Clarke

Hospitals in New Zealand will be amongst the first in the world to use new ‘humanoid’ mannequins during training, potentially changing the face of medical education forever.

The new dolls bear a striking resemblance to real humans, with more realistic skin, hair and faces. That’s not all either, they can also be altered so they contain bodily fluids, and conditions like synthetic injuries and blood clots can be created easily on the robots.

Speaking about the introduction of the new figures, Consultant Anaesthetist, Mr Jeff Hoskins, highlighted why they could be particularly useful in his specialty. He said: "Often when we train with simulation training, we just train as a group of surgeons or just as a group of anaesthetists, and that's not very realistic to the way that we normally work."

Registered nurse Penny Johnstone told ‘Stuff Magazine’ about the range of different situations that could be created by the new mannequin. She said: “In one scenario we gave a robot a perforated gut, with the bowel's putrid contents leaking into the dummy's abdomen. To replicate the smell, I went to a joke shop and got a bottle of smelly spray and put that on the wound."

Hopes are high that the new humanoids will cut down on the amount of mistakes in surgery caused by communication issues between the patient and the medic, and the team carrying out the procedures.

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