New Realistic ‘Mikoto’ 3D Printed Medical Simulator Robot Developed in Japan

Realistic 'Mikoto' 3D printed medical training robot developed in Tottori, Japan

Another new healthcare simulation manikin, this time out of Japan, as reported by 3D printer and 3D printing news website 3ders.org, which focuses primarily on endotracheal intubation, gastrointestinal endoscopy, and sputum suctioning. The new device was a collaborative project between Tmsuk R&D Inc., a medical venture firm based in Tottori Prefecture and the Tottori University Hospital in Japan.

Mikoto, which is the Japanese word for “life,” is an extremely lifelike medical simulation robot that was specifically developed to help train young doctors, medical students, and emergency care workers. Not only does the 3D printed robot look and feel real, it is also equipped with special sensors that allow it to give real-time feedback to trainees—in the form of saying “ouch” and gagging. At first glance, it’s easy to mistake the robot for a real boy, as all of its features are uncannily lifelike. Even its interiors are anatomically accurate, as its tongue, esophagus, and windpipe were all based on a patient’s actual organs. In making the simulation robot, the Tmsuk team transformed digital images of the patient’s organs into 3D printed models.

As we’ve seen, the medical sector is turning increasingly towards realistic 3D printed models to train surgeons and simulate medical procedures. In Japan, where most medical learning is still done through textbooks, simulations are also gaining in popularity, as they offer hands-on experience and training, though the simulation models are still relatively limited in their scope. That is, while many medical schools and hospitals are equipped with simulation centers, many of the current training devices and “dolls” are much more rigid than real patients, which creates a discrepancy between what doctors are trained to do and what they actually do when they encounter a real patient.


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Dr. Toshiya Nakano, a neurologist at the University of Tottori’s faculty of medicine, added: “Young doctors used to learn the ropes gradually by observing senior doctors at work and then trying their hand at operating on actual patients. Such styles of training are no longer acceptable. Ensuring patient safety is a top concern.”

The new Mikoto robot thus marks a remarkable step forward for medical simulation equipment. Mikoto is not designed for all types of simulations, however, but is built for three main procedures: endotracheal intubation (a process wherein a patient’s airway is forced open by a tube in the windpipe), gastrointestinal endoscopy (where internal organs are checked using a flexible fiber-optic camera tube), and sputum suctioning. As mentioned, Mikoto is equipped with various sensors which can alert users if they are putting too much pressure on the robot, or if they are choking it. At the end of the simulation, the 3D printed robot also issues a score for the simulation, which is based on data obtained through the sensors as well as the length of the procedure.


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Uchida Yoko Global Limited PF-Note Provides Healthcare Simulation Recording Platform – IMSH 2016 Video Interview

uchida medical simulation recording

At IMSH 2016 HealthySimulation.com was able to secure a video interview with the team from Japanese based company Uchida Yoko to learn more about their PF-Note audiovisual recording and debriefing system. Interesting here is the built in capability of directly connected student clickers. Watch the exclusive short video interview below to learn more:

From the Uchida Yoko PF-Note Brochure:

Entire even can be conveniently recorded in high definition with ease.

  • Audiovisual data such as computer screen, blackboard, or presentation equipment saved as a video file in real time.
  • Recording started by simply pressing a button. Screen layout can be also be easily switched.
  • Contents don’t require editing after recording so they can be used right then and there.

Student reaction can be recorded at any time using a wireless clicker.

  • Reactions that offer clues as to whether or not contents of classes are understood well or not can be recorded in real time.
  • Student reaction can be obtained during or after class in the form of a questionnaire.
  • Roll call can be accomplished by clicker using the roll call support function.

Separate review of important part of the class

  • Because you can record student reaction together with the class, you can see what students don’t understand or what they are interested in while viewing the class scene.
  • Instructors can confirm what what was effective and what needs to be improved from the student reactions.
  • The data generated when the instructor or TA presses the clicker can be recorded as a thumbnail. If the instructor records important point during the class, the students can use them for subsequent review.

You can learn more about this system from the
Uchida Yoko PF-Note Brochure

Hawaii’s Sim Tiki Sends Out Their First Simulation Program Newsletter

simtiki hawaii

Just received the first Sim Tiki simulation newsletter from this Hawaiian based simulation program doing great work with Japan and across the pacific. Run by Dr. Ben Berg, SimTiki has been providing resident exchange programs with Japanese Universities as well as hands-on training courses in Japan.

First Newsletter Excerpt:

Aloha and welcome to SimTiki’s first e-newsletter! Here you will find news and updates about SimTiki, as well as a preview of our upcoming activities.  We hope you will enjoy this communication to keep up-to-date with SimTiki.

We’ve had an eventful past few months and it’s been a year since SimTiki was granted accreditation in Research and Education/Training by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSIH). Dr. Yoko Akamine, from Nagano, Japan, completed her one year International Research Fellowship and departed in July.  Four participants from Japan joined us for SimTiki Academy programs ranging from two week to two months: Akiko Hirata, MD (Nippon Medical School Hospital) Tomohiro Inoue, MD (St. Mary’s Hospital), Yoko Ishibashi, RN (Fukuoka University Nursing School), and Nobuyasu Komazawa, MD (Osaka Medical College). Residents from Akita University & Nagasaki University participated in our JP Resident Physician courses. We continued with our Faculty development courses, FunSim and SimBites, with participants from UH, JABSOM and Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC). We were also thrilled to welcome our first participant from the Netherlands at our September FCCS course, along with other learners from TAMC and the OBGYN Hawaii Residency Program.  We wish you a happy & healthy holiday season!

Read the full Sim Tiki newsletter here and visit the Sim Tiki website for more info!

 


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New Japanese Humanoid Robot Demonstrates Communication Innovation

sign-language-robot

Toshiba has developed a lifelike communication android that can move its arms and hands smoothly and use Japanese sign language. The android is a prototype that the company will continue to develop towards achieving a service robot able to assist people in the fields of welfare and healthcare. The android will be showcased at CEATEC JAPAN 2014, which will be held from October 7 to 11.

Recently we have shared a number of stories highlighting increased advances in robotic technology, which we feel will have direct implications for the healthcare simulation industry.

Listen to the Full NPR story below:

Visit NPR.org for the complete Toshiba Customer Service Humanoid Story!