Virtual SIMs

Virtual simulations, also called screen-based simulations or virtual simulation games, are “the recreation of reality depicted on a computer screen” that “injects humans in a central role by exercising motor control skills, decision skills, or communication skills.”1 This includes virtual patient simulators, which are “a computer program that simulates real-life clinical scenarios in which the learner acts as a health care provider obtaining a history and physical exam, and making diagnostic and therapeutic decisions.”2

This is distinguished from virtual reality simulations, which require the use of specialized head-mounted displays.

List of Virtual Simulation Platforms

This is not intended to be a comprehensive list but a collection of platforms we have identified. If you know of something missing, please add a comment below and we will update the list.

PlatformType*Scope/FocusLangAuthoring
interface?
Licensing
Anesthesia SimSTAT from CAEResponsiveAnesthesiaEnNoCommerical
Body Interact (available in Canada from Nasco Healthcare)ResponsiveMultiple professionsMultiYesCommerical
Virtual Healthcare Experience from Ryerson University, Centennial College & George Brown CollegeBranchingNursingEnNoFree
Video-Based Virtual Games from CAN-SimBranchingNursingBiNoRequires membership (some free)
Affinity LearningLinear, branchingMedicineEnYesCommercial; free ‘community’ portal
CyberPatientExploratoryMedicineEnNoCommercial
Immersive HealthcareVirtual worldMultiple professionsEnNoCommercial
OpenLabyrinthBranchingMultiple professionsEnYesOpen source
PeriopSimProceduralOR NursingEnNoCommercial
PureMedSimPhysiologyPhysiology, medicine, pharmacyEnNoCommercial
Reach gamified learningLinear, branchingInterprofessionalEnYesCommercial
Stilwell Canada from Humber CollegeCollaborativeInterprofessionalEnNoAcademic
Turbulent Sky from Red River CollegeVirtual worldDisaster responseEnNoFree
Virtual Interactive Case system by PIE at University Health NetworkExploratoryMedicine, nursing, pharmacyEnYesCommercial (non-profit)
abcdeSIM from the Virtual Medical SchoolResponsiveMedicine, nursingEnNoCommercial
AcadicusVirtual worldMedicineEnYesCommercial
AquiferLinearMedicine, nursing, osteopathyEnNoCommercial (non-profit)
BreakAway Games – several platformsVariousMedicine, Paramedicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Optometry, othersEnYesCommercial
CASUS Virtual PatientsLinearMedicineEnYesCommercial (non-profit)
Corsmed MRI SimulatorVariousMRI & RadiographyEnNoCommercial
DecisionSim by KynectivBranchingMedicineEnYesCommercial
Digital Clinical Experiences by Shadow HealthExploratoryNursing, pharmacy, geronotologyEnNoCommercial
DiscourseLLC Virtual PatientExploratoryMedicine (focus on surgery)EnNoCommercial
DrSim by Accurate SolutionsResponsiveMedicineEnYesCommercial
DxR Virtual Clinician and DxR Nursing SelectExploratoryMedicine, nursing, physiotherapy, chiropracticEnYesCommercial
FullCode Emergency Room SimulatorResponsiveAcute careEnNoCommercial
i-Human Patients by KaplanExploratoryMedicine, nursingEnNoCommercial
InSimu PatientExploratoryMedicineEnNoCommercial
KognitoCommunicationMedicine, nursingEnNoCommercial
MedActiV by SimforHealthExploratoryMedicineBiYesCommercial
Medcases Virtual PatientExploratoryMedicineMultiYesFree and Commercial
MedEdQRExploratoryMedicineEnYesCommercial
MedSims by WebMD/MedscapeExploratoryMedicineEnNoCommercial
medspace.VRVirtual worldRadiographyEnNoCommercial
OpenSimulatorVirtual worldMultiple professionsEnYesOpen source
Otis the Virtual Patient by InnoforceExploratoryAudiologyEnNoCommercial
Oxford Medical Simulation DistanceExploratoryMedicine, nursingEnNoCommercial
PCS Spark can be used through a web browserCommunicationMultiple professions; focus on communicationEnYesCommercial
Practical Clinical SkillsLinearMultiple professions; core clinical assessmentEnNoFree
Real Life from ATIBranchingNursingEnNoCommercial
safeMedicateMed admin calculationsNursing (safe medication practices)EnNoCommercial
Sentinel UVirtual world, exploratoryNursingEnNoCommercial
SIMTABSExploratoryMedicineEnYesCommercial
SIMTICSProceduralMultiple professionsEnNoCommercial
SimTutor AuthorProcedural, branchingMultiple professionsEnYesCommercial
SimucaseExploratory, proceduralAudiology, SLP, Occupational Therapy, Physical TherapyEnNoCommercial
SimulationIQ IPE & SimPHARM from EMSPhysiology / pharmacologyInterprofessional / PharmacyEnYesCommercial
Swift River Virtual ClinicalsLinearNursingEnNoCommercial
uChoose from the University of the West of EnglandBranchingMultiple professions; existing focus on medicineEnYesFree
USC Standard Patient from the University of South CarolinaCommunicationMedicineEnYesFree
vClinical from NurseThinkLinearNursingEnNoCommercial
Virtual Clinical Excursions and other platforms from ElsevierExploratoryNursing, Medical office adminEnNoCommercial
vSim for Nursing from Laerdal and Wolters-KluwerExploratoryNursingEnNoCommercial

* For a review of this classification see Virtual Patients – Review of Pedagogical and Technological Options – adapted from Kononowicz AA, Zary N, Edelbring S, Corral J, Hege I. Virtual patients – what are we talking about? A framework to classify the meanings of the term in healthcare education. BMC Med Educ. 2015;15(1):11. doi:10.1186/s12909-015-0296-3

Promotions & Discounts During COVID-19

Here we list special cases, discounts, promotions and resources that simulation suppliers are offering during the pandemic. Again, this list is not exhaustive and we add items as we identify them. If we aere missing something, please contact us.

Body Interact (available in Canada from Nasco Healthcare). Free COVID cases available hereContact >

vSim for Nursing from Laerdal and Wolters-Kluwer – educational trial licenses and emergency subscription discounts. Contact: Laerdal • Wolters Kluwer

Affinity Learning – up to 5 users and 10 modules are free

Oxford Medical Simulation Distance – free 60-day access to 5 cases

DxR Nursing SELECT – special 3-month trial subscription during COVID-19 closures

PCS Spark – Three free cases are available, including one on COVID. Access >

MedActiV from SimforHealth – free access to create and disseminate virtual sims related to COVID-19.

medspace.VR – free remote access license for students included with institutional license

SimEMR and Virtual MedsManager from kbPort – both free access during the pandemic. More >

SonoSim ultrasound simulation – free and discounted access to online courses and virtual U/S simulator

HumanSim Sedation & Airway – 10 free scenarios during COVID (PC only)

Supporting Resources for Virtual Patients

thispersondoesnotexist.com – uses AI to create realistic human faces, so you can adopt a face for your patient without having to use an image of a real person. Reload the page for a new face.

Resources & Advice to Enable Distance Simulations

See our page on Facilitating Simulations at a Distance for lists of resources and platforms.

Free COVID-19 Virtual Patients

We are compiling links to free virtual sims on COVID-19 per se on our COVID-19 Resources page.


1. Lioce L. (Ed.), Downing D., Chang T.P., Robertson J.M., Anderson M., Diaz D.A., and Spain A.E. (Assoc. Eds.) and the Terminology and Concepts Working Group (2020), Healthcare Simulation Dictionary –Second Edition. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; January 2020. AHRQ Publication No. 20-0019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.23970/simulationv2

2. ibid

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