Robotic Mannequin Gives Birth to Help Doctors Practice Deliveries

A robotic mannequin that helps doctors practice delivering babies could usher in a new era of health care, some doctors believe. The technology, dubbed “Victoria,” made an appearance Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare in San Diego.

The lifelike robot is shaped like a woman and made with parts simulating a woman’s reproductive system. Victoria can be programmed to have a normal birth, emergency caesarian section or a breech delivery. The robot simulates labor contractions and even says “My belly hurts.”

Doctors can monitor Victoria’s vital signs and fetal heart tones with real medical equipment. And if something goes wrong, they can start again.

“You get to do everything wrong, hit the reset and learn how to do it right and you didn’t have to affect anybody,” said Dr. Mario de las Cuevas with the society. “You didn’t have to look over anybody’s shoulder and you get practical experience in a real setting.”

Organizers of the event say one third of medical errors by trainees involve obstetrics and gynecology patients, so Victoria, made by Gaumard Scientific, addresses a need to practice deliveries.

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