Robot labours for medical students

Noelle has given birth dozens of times in front of hundreds of medical students. But minutes later, she’s back in the delivery room and ready to perform again.

Noelle has given birth dozens of times in front of hundreds of medical students, and more often than not suffers complications. But minutes later, she’s back in the delivery room and ready to perform again.

NOELLE is a maternal and neonatal birthing computer interactive simulator – or, as she has been dubbed, “the pregnant robot”.

Made by Florida-based Gaumard Scientific Company, NOELLE is one of a range of lifelike interactive medical mannequins with a range of all-too-realistic features to ensure students training in obstetrics have experience of a full range of birthing situations before they get their hands on a live patient.

Retailing for $19,995, the top of the range model of NOELLE comes with a laptop PC for delivering pre-packaged birth scenarios, programming new ones and for a supervisor to change the situation during birth.

NOELLE comes with a robot baby to deliver and an interactive newborn. The baby’s skin colour can change from bluish to a healthy flush depending on its simulated condition and treatment administered.

Mother and baby robots breathe and have a pulse. They can also bleed and urinate and can be programmed to give a response when wired to vital response monitors. NOELLE has intubable airway and an arm into which intravenous drips and medications can be introduced.

NOELLE is available in a range of skin colours and is supplied with – look away now if you’re squeamish – four umbilical cords, four dilating cervices, two umbilical clamps and three vulva for postpartum suturing.