The robot will simulate a doctor’s appointment and evaluate the skills of medical students.
Robo-C Project has developed an autonomous exam simulator based on Robo-C humanoid robot in a partnership with Perm State Medical University.
Robo-C is a completely anthropomorphic machine. It imitates people’s emotions: moves eyes and eyebrows, lips, and other artificial muscles. The robot can chat and answer questions. It was developed by Robo-C Project, featuring a patented design that includes 600 human facial expressions that allow the robot to mimic a person. Specialists at Robo-C Project manufacture their own components and are also responsible for the robot’s unique artificial skin technology.
Robo-C simulates the behavior of a patient at the doctor’s appointment. Before the robot was introduced, students would stage the appointment with a real person. PSMU specialists prepared several scenarios for the robot’s behavior, including a detailed description of complaints, conditions, patient age, analysis data, and other criteria. Students should conduct an initial survey, give diagnoses, prescribe treatment, or send further examinations and tests. The robot responds to the student’s keywords and actions and simulates dialogue between the patient and the doctor.
According to PSMU, “We use simulation equipment in the training of medical students. Our graduates must pass the accreditation procedure for admission to work. To do that, they interact with various training mannequins. Robo-C allows us to come as close we can get to real doctor-patient communication. Students immerse themselves in the situation and thus form the clinical thinking per their specialty; it is an essential trait of future doctors. In a sense, by acting as a patient, the robot also becomes a teacher that evaluates every student’s word and action; this information is digitally collected and sent to real professors. By introducing this solution, we can reach a new level in medical education.”
At the end of the session, Robo-C evaluates the appointment. It analyzes the sequencing of questions presented by the student following clinical recommendations. Afterward, it evaluates how accurately the diagnosis is made and what treatment is prescribed. Robo-C stores every action and question during the session — students can review the information and improve in the future. The results and appointment history are sent to the teacher for further review of the student’s performance. Afterward, the teacher can decide if the student passed an exam or ask additional questions.
According to the CBDO of Robo-C Project, “robot simulator is a very flexible solution. It can be used during exam preparation or for the training of students of different specialties. The robot can work 24 hours a day — it never gets tired, it is never wrong in its assessment of student’s knowledge, and its decision making will not be affected or influenced. In short, it eliminates the human factor and evaluates objective, encyclopedic knowledge. At the same time, upon reviewing the session, teachers will evaluate students’ creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, and approach to work. There is a medical term when doctors ask a series of questions based on the patient’s response. That sequence is called clinical thinking, and it allows to diagnose and choose the correct treatment strategy. The development of clinical thinking is the primary purpose of the robot.”
Perm State Medical University, named after academician E. A. Vagner, is one of the country’s largest medical universities. More than 87.7% of full-time university teachers at PSMU have an academic degree in their specialties. It has the highest ratings among Perm Krai universities and some of the highest among medical universities. PSMU trains specialists in the field of medicine, pediatrics, dentistry, medical and preventive medicine, as well as clinical psychology. Students study anatomy, physiology, cardiology, surgery, neurology, epidemiology, and other fields and disciplines.