After years of experience building advanced robotic simulation patients, The SimCenter of America design team thinks they’ve reached another technological breakthrough.
“Basically, we found that despite the best in applied research, our robotic simulation patients could not generate the diversity of responses we see in real patients,” said Frank Lipsky, the company’s CEO.
The company’s newest model places a human standardized patient inside a robotic shell, and a typical model is estimated to cost $500,000, then around $100,000 to operate each year.
“We’re not interested in abandoning last year’s model, so we’ve essentially hollowed it out to allow a standardized patient to fit inside,” said Lipsky.
“The potential benefit to this next-gen model can’t be overstated,” said Rodger Phillips M.D., the dean of the prestigious High Tech Medical School in New York. “Imagine a sim patient that interrupts conversation with a need to urinate or falls asleep when our medical students are trying to ask questions!”
Not everyone is convinced. “I’d prefer a subscription to UpToDate or some more money on my meal card,” said Jerome Higgins, a rising second year internal medicine resident at High Tech Medical School. “I can just practice on real patients during the 80 hours I’m in the hospital each week.”
Dean Phillips says he plans to order at least 5 of the new models, and will fill the robots exoskeletons with minimum wage employees he’ll find on Craig’s List.