Who says you have to be alive to breathe? SimMan proves the un-imaginable...that a robot, of sorts, can breathe on its own and even complain like a real patient.
SimMan is the newest resident at Texas Tech, the result of a $32,000 grant awarded to the School of Medicine from the CH Foundation to coincide with a national research project that looks at how high tech simulation can enhance critical thinking and decision making in the classroom.
"The reason he is amazing is that he breathes. His computer technology is such that you can go in and have sounds on one set of the lungs and different sounds on the other. So with the touch of a button, he can respond to students. So when they're working with him, he is more than just a mannequin. He becomes a real person and that's one of the goals that we're looking at," explained Sharon Decker, from the School of Nursing.
Decker adds that she can change the heart rate, for example, so that students are thrown into real life situations to learn when to give drugs or therapy without any risk to SimMan who is very forgiving. SimMan is the first adult simulator at Texas Tech, but Decker says the company is working on a junior version so that within a year, they hope to be able to apply this technique to treating children as well.