The robot patient can show pain: this will teach doctors empathy.

robot patient

The aim of the scientists is to make the treatment of patients less painful and biased in the long term.

According to a press statement, a team of researchers at Imperial College London has developed a way to more accurately display pain on the face of medical teaching robots patients when examining painful areas. This will provide physicians in training with an improved method of practicing on potential patients.

As the authors of the development note, the use of realistic expressions of pain in robotic patients will reduce the number of errors and bias during a medical examination.

Scientists and engineers hope that their robot patient will help trainees to notice facial expressions. As noted at Imperial College London, when doctors perform a physical examination of painful areas, feedback on the patient’s facial expression is important. However, many modern medical simulators cannot display pain-related facial expressions in real time. They are also equipped with a limited amount of patient identification data in terms of ethnicity and gender.

The use of new robot patient will help detect and correct early signs of bias in medical students. The models are specially made in all sorts of shapes and shades that mimic the differences in the diversity of patients. The goal is to prevent budding doctors from developing racial or gender bias and also to develop a sense of empathy.

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