Gaumard Scientific, a company headquartered in Miami, Florida, is releasing what it claims is the “world’s most advanced wireless and tetherless mobile pediatric patient simulator”. It’s intended as a training tool to practice all kinds of common tests and procedures, including helping to improve clinicians’ interactions with children.
The Pediatric HAL is only slightly creepy as it pretends to be a child in distress that talks, blinks, squirms in pain, gets excited, and even cries. You can give it needle injections, take its blood, prick its finger to take a glucose reading, and monitor it via ECG, pulse oximetry, and in many other ways just like with a real child.
The device can have different emotional states, such as being lethargic, anxious, or in pain. Instructions can be given to it, and it will perform many tasks as though its human, such as following a pencil with its blue eyes and changing pupil size in response to light.
Emergency CPR and even invasive procedures, such as insertion of chest tubes and tracheotomies, can be practiced repeatedly with the Pediatric HAL so that clinicians are ready for real emergencies and unusual clinical events.