I work in a simulation center. A detailed re-creation of a hospital, where healthcare providers practice on sophisticated manikins. You can make a lot of mistakes on a human patient simulator manikin, and learn from them, without jeopardizing the life of a real patient. The simulators have some pretty sophisticated electronics packed into their innards and, as such, they weren’t designed for surgical procedures.
The practice of surgery is just as risky as a medicine and the center I work at has been asked to simulate an open heart surgery. A bit of a challenge, since there is nothing but PC boards and pneumatic tubes in the simulator’s chest. So it was time to put on the old “maker” thinking cap and figure out a way to re-create the conditions of cardiac surgery within the limitations of the technology we use. The solution is equal parts craftsmanship and theatrical misdirection.