Doctors in training often practice trauma skills on a human patient simulator (HPS), a life-sized mannequin that can exhibit lifelike behaviors such as breathing, bleeding, and expelling fluids. However, University of Notre Dame professor Laurel D. Riek believes they could be even more lifelike, noting "their faces don't actually move, and they are unable to sense or respond to the environment."
Riek and her team are working to develop a more realistic HPS using robotic technology. One of the major new features they are working on is expressive faces that can exhibit realistic, clinically relevant facial expressions that respond to clinicians' actions in real time.
Riek and her team recently completed a pain simulation project that analyzed patient data to help their HPS generate realistic facial expressions indicating different kinds of pain. Riek and her team also are working on an interactive stroke simulator that will be able to respond to clinicians as they work through the case.
Another new feature is interchangeable skins that will make it easy to change the apparent age, gender, or race of the HPS.
The researchers also are seeking to make the new HPS less expensive and more accessible by utilizing three-dimensional printing.
From National Science Foundation
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