Back to Top Robot helps deliver “shocking” world first - The Ottawa Hospital
 
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Robot helps deliver “shocking” world first

 


Mr. Smith, a robotic mannequin, helped Dr. Kiran Rabheru provide a shocking new world’s-first course for psychiatrists recently – hands-on training to administer electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

The training, using life-like robots that simulate a real-world clinical setting, allows psychiatrists to hone their skills before treating actual patients who suffer from severe and persistent depression.

“This is the closest thing to resurrection that we have,” said Lisa McMurray, a geriatric psychiatrist and clinical lead of ECT at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. She helped teach the course, which is based on lessons learned from a study that compared traditional training, through lectures and apprenticeships, and the simulation-based training. The new training offered better results – for the trainees and for patients, including safer treatments.

“These new training exercises using simulations take learning one step further and improve the confidence and skill level of practitioners, leading to improved safety for our patients,” said Dr. Rabheru, TOH’s Medical Director of Geriatric Psychiatry and ECT Service. Patients have better outcomes and lower risks of complications, such as memory loss.

ECT, formerly known as electroshock therapy, is an effective psychiatric treatment in which seizures are electrically induced in anesthetized patients to achieve therapeutic benefits.

 
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