Faced with a growing number of medical students and few training hospitals, a Mexican university is turning to robotic patients to better train future doctors.
Mexico City’s UNAM University has opened the world’s largest “robotic hospital” — where medical students practice on everything from delivering a baby from a robotic dummy to injecting the arm of a plastic toddler.
The robots are dummies complete with mechanical organs, synthetic blood and mechanical breathing systems.
“The country’s rapid increase of medical students has not kept up with the number of medical facilities,” said Joaquin Lopez Barcena, an associate dean at the university’s medical school.
“This a very a good learning opportunity for our students.”
The $1.3 million facility has 24 robotic patients and a computer software program that can simulate illnesses ranging from diabetes to a heart attack.
For Paola Mendoza Cortez, a first-year medical student, the robotic patients offer peace of mind.
“I would feel nervous if this was (a) real patient,” said Mendoza after drawing blood from a plastic arm.
“With this (dummy patient) I can practice many times.”