On the outside, FRED looks like a floppy-eared stuffed dog with its tongue hanging out. On the inside, FRED’s internal organs are constructed from inexpensive everyday materials.
At first glance, it may not look like a sophisticated endoscopic training device, but when FRED’s stomach is visualized with an endoscope, the images are virtually indistinguishable from images acquired in live patients.
If further developed and licensed, that lovable stuffed animal could make a big difference in veterinary medicine.
FRED — or Flexible and Rigid Endoscopic training Device — was developed by Jacqueline Whittemore, a University of Tennessee assistant professor of medicine in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, and Katy Kottkamp,who at the time was a UT veterinary student.
Small animal veterinary practices are increasingly using minimally-invasive endoscopic procedures. Endoscopy, however, requires extensive training, and simulators are very cost-prohibitive for veterinary schools, Whittemore said.
In addition, veterinarians often receive training in endoscopy workshops using live animals, which are usually euthanized at the end of the workshop due to the strain and damage to their systems, she said.
Click here to read more on FRED and Endoscopic Surgery for animals