As the need for training on new-tech devices increases, virtual and physical simulation systems are in demand at medical schools and hospitals worldwide. One novel new robotic invention is Patrick, the robotic prostate exam mannequin. Developed by a MD and a virtual experiences research team, Patrick is being trailed at two hospital teaching centers in the US.
Although there are no current plans for commercialization, Assoc. Prof. Benjamin Lok said: “In the experience, the student talks to a virtual person and is able to practice their communication skills. The mannequin is instrumented with force sensors that can measure where the student is examining and with how much pressure. This enables the system to provide a realistic encounter with a virtual patient that includes communication and physical exam components.â€