Robot Technology Aids in Education

Dr Alejandro Granados from Imperial College London demonstrates the robotic rectum technology,.jpg

Dr Alejandro Granados from Imperial College London demonstrates
the robotic rectum technology

Excerpts from Medical News Today contained below.

Technology seems to be moving at lightening speed these days. From computers that fit in our hand, to robotic learning tools. It’s a progressive time in our history.  This past July, scientists at Imperial College London developed a prosthetic buttocks and rectum to help train doctors and nurses to perform prostate cancer exams.

The idea is the device helps train doctors and nurses to perform rectal examinations by accurately recreating the feel of a rectum, as well as providing feedback on their examination technique. The device contains small robotic arms that apply pressure to the silicone rectum, to recreate the shape and feel of the back passage.

Rectal examinations are necessary to diagnose conditions such as prostate cancer and involve a medic placing their index finger into the anus, and feeling the prostate gland.

 

Generally, cancerous prostates tend to feel hard and knobbly, but learning exactly what a potentially cancerous prostate feels like can be difficult, explains Dr Fernando Bello, from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London: “Internal examinations are really challenging to learn – and to teach. Because the examinations occur in the body, the trainer cannot see what the trainee is doing, and vice versa. In addition to this, medics rarely get the chance to practise the examination, as few patients would volunteer as practice subjects. In fact there is only one person registered in the country as a test subject, called a Rectal Teaching Assistant (RTA) in the UK.

“But the results of these examinations can have major implications for patients – they are very important for early diagnosis of various conditions such as prostate cancer.”

Although plastic models exist to help train medical staff, these do not feel like living flesh and tissue, added Dr Bello. Therefore to help doctors and nurses practice how to perform these examinations – and to ensure they are as comfortable as possible for patients, Dr Bello and his team have created a robotic ‘trainer rectum’.

When using the trainer, a doctor inserts his finger inside a silicone thimble attached to robotic technology able to recreate the exact sensation of the human rectum.

Furthermore, a computer screen behind the device can display a 3D model of the rectum and prostate, allowing the doctor, with the aid of 3D glasses, to see the anatomy while they perform the examination. The technology can be programmed for different scenarios, allowing the anatomy to be changed each time, explained Dr Alejandro Granados, also from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial and who is leading the development of the robotic rectum.

He added: “We have already asked a number of doctors and nurses – including prostate specialists and cancer surgeons – to trial the technology. They commented on the great advantage of being able to alter the anatomy. The size and shape of the rectum and prostate can vary greatly from person to person, and this technology enables medics to practice their skills in many different virtual patients. They also observed that because these examinations are performed solely by feel, experiencing a realistic sensation is crucial.”

Furthermore, the team are continuing to perfect the device, by collecting data from real prostate examinations in patients.

To read the full article at Medical News Today click here.

The Legacy of a Legend…Farewell, Mr. Palmer

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image courtesy of arniesarmy.org

Recently, golf legend, Arnold Palmer passed away. We’re all aware of the legacy of golf achievements the man left. Over 9o championships, in addition to 18 wins in foreign championships and 12 wins on the senior tour he was not only a force on the golf course, but in the community of cancer research and treatment.

This is a less well-known part of Arnold’s history, as he was more concerned with moving the cause forward than personal notority. At age 67 in 1997, Arnold had a PSA screening test for prostate cancer. His PSA had been rising for 2-3 years and had resulted in 2 prior normal prostate biopsies. But this time, his third biopsy showed him to have prostate cancer. He went to Mayo clinic where the doctors discussed the treatment options. Wanting the highest chance for cure, Arnold opted for surgery to remove his prostate. The findings showed enough risk for possible recurrence that he then received 7 weeks of radiation therapy. Remarkably, only 6 weeks later, after physical therapy, Arnold was back on the golf course competing in tournaments.

He won the admiration of his fans (known as Arnie’s Army) and all Americans by becoming a lifelong spokesperson for prostate cancer control. He advocated prostate cancer screening with PSA. Regarding screening, and in keeping with current recommendations, he felt that men’s lives would be better if they just talked to their doctor about it. “That’s health and living”, he said, and felt that being healthy is the “good life”.

Arnold also formed the Arnold Palmer Prostate Center in Palm Springs at the Eisenhower Lucy Curie Cancer Center, and then supported the Arnold Palmer Pavilion at U. Pittsburgh Medical Center and Latrobe Area Hospital. Because of his advocacy, many more men have been cured of prostate cancer and are survivors.

Vero Beach Men’s Health Forum – An Educational Success!!

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Men and their Spouses Register for Men’s Health Forum

The International Prostate Cancer Foundation successfully perpetuates their misison in the 2013 Vero Beach Men’s Health Forum.  The event, in partnership with Florida Hospital’s Global Robotics Institute, was held with efforts to promote research, educate men and encourage prostate cancer screening.  Men and their spouses were invited to learn about men’s healthcare maintenance, basic screening practices and advanced nutritional and healthy lifestyle practices.  With well over 70 community members in attendance, the program has more than fulfilled it’s purpose.

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An Attentive and Educated Audience Quiz our Expert Panel

Those in attendance benefited from expert lectures and discussions on topics including:

  • Importance of Health Care Maintenance
  • Basic Health Care Screening That Every Man Should Have
  • Diet and Exercise Recommendations
  • Cardiac Risk Factors and Routine Maintenance
  • Common Diseases of Aging:  Diabetes, Hypertension and Obesity Management
  • Prostate Health Maintenance and Cancer Screening
  • A Man’s Perspective on Health Maintenance – Personal Testimony – Oscar Robinson
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Dr. Skip Franco Reviews Recommendations for Men’s Health Maintenence

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A Full House
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Men’s Health Panel

We would like to recognize IPCF founder Dr. Vipul Patel along with Dr. Skip Franco and Mr. Edward Mellet for organizing and participatig in the event.  In addition, the forum featured NBA All-Star Legend Oscar Robinson as guest speaker, along with faculty members Mr. Bill Kelly, Dr. Atul Madan, David Robinson MD, Dr. Ranjan Perera and Cynthia Buffington PHD.

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Our Expert Faculty

Special thanks to all who attended. We encourage you to share your experience and spread knowledge as our hope is to extend this program to communities nationwide.

For full highlights and photos visit The International Prostate Cancer Foundation on Facebook & view the full album.