There’s a new robot in town and he wants you to stick your fingers up his buttocks. Patrick, the simulated patient that talks to medical students while they’re administering virtual prostate exams, offers real-time feedback throughout the entire process. He is endowed with software that enables him to interact “emotionally” with students and voice any concerns he has about the procedure.
Patrick is also blessed with force sensors, which can alert the student when he or she is being far too aggressive with their fingering, and can report how thorough and pleasant the student was in his or her examination.
“This virtual human patient can talk to the learner, expresses fears and concerns about the prostate exam, and presents a realistic patient encounter,” Dr. Benjamin Lok told Geekosystem. He’s one of the designers of the program.
Dr. Lok also said that students receive minimal practice and interaction in intimate exams due to two, huge factors: the high cost for training and high anxiety nature of the exams.
“How would a medical student know if they are doing a good prostate exam?” Lok said. “Currently it is impossible for the educator to gauge performance. This simulation provides performance, feedback, and an opportunity to learn and lower anxiety.”
Or, Dr. Lok could’ve just put out a “help wanted” ad in his local gay blog/magazine.