A new generation of complex, electronic birth simulators are allowing medical students to practice labor and birth -- especially when there are complications.
"It gives us the opportunity to learn and practice but do no harm," said Dr. Kay Daniels, a clinical associate professor who trains students at Stanford University.
Interactive simulation robots first became popular in the 1990s after scientists developed them for anesthesiologists in training. They've since been designed for various types of medical training and even for veterinary students, who work on dog mannequins.
Noelle is part of a new wave of medical-simulation technology that has moved ob-gyn training beyond its traditional low-tech plastic pelvises. "We di d simulations, but it wasn't very realistic," said Jane Mashburn, a clinical associate professor who uses robots to train nurse midwives.