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.

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 contact us and we will update the list.

Virtu-WIL CollectionBranching, responsiveNursing, Paramedicine, Medical Lab Tech, SonographyEn, FrNoFree🍁
Affinity LearningLinear, branchingMultiple professionsEnYesCommercial; free ‘community’ portal🍁
Anesthesia SimSTAT from CAEResponsiveAnesthesiaEnNoCommercial🍁
CyberPatientExploratoryMedicine, NursingEnNoCommercial🍁
Immersive HealthcareVirtual worldMultiple professionsEnNoCommercial🍁
OpenLabyrinthBranchingMultiple professionsEnYesOpen source🍁
PeriopSimProceduralOR NursingEnNoCommercial🍁
PureMedSimPhysiologyPhysiology, medicine, pharmacyEnNoCommercial🍁
Reach gamified learningLinear, branchingInterprofessionalEnYesCommercial🍁
RETAIN Neonatal ResusResponsiveMultiple; focus on neonatal resuscitationEnNoCommercial🍁
Stilwell Canada from Humber CollegeCollaborativeInterprofessionalEnNoAcademic🍁
Turbulent Sky from Red River CollegeVirtual worldDisaster responseEnNoFree🍁
Virtual Healthcare Experience from Metro Toronto University, Centennial College & George Brown CollegeBranchingNursingEnNoFree🍁
Virtual Interactive Case system by PIE at University Health NetworkExploratoryMedicine, nursing, pharmacyEnYesCommercial (non-profit)🍁
Virtual Resus RoomResponsive (facilitated)Multiple; focus on resuscitationEnYesFree🍁
Virtual Simulation Games from CAN-SimLinearNursingEn, FrNoMembership required (some free)🍁
abcdeSIM from the Virtual Medical SchoolResponsiveMedicine, nursingEnNoCommercial
AcadicusVirtual worldMedicineEnYesCommercial
AquiferLinearMedicine, nursing, osteopathyEnNoCommercial (non-profit)
Body Interact (available in Canada from Nasco Healthcare)ResponsiveMultiple professionsMultiYesCommercial
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
MedSims by WebMD/MedscapeExploratoryMedicineEnNoCommercial
medspace.VRVirtual worldRadiographyEnNoCommercial
OpenSimulatorVirtual worldMultiple professionsEnYesOpen source
Otis the Virtual Patient by InnoforceExploratoryAudiologyEnNoCommercial
Oxford Medical Simulation DistanceExploratoryMedicine, nursingEnNoCommercial
PCS Spark Exploratory, CommunicationMultiple professionsEn, FrYesCommercial
Practical Clinical SkillsLinearMultiple professions; core clinical assessmentEnNoFree
Real Life from ATIBranchingNursingEnNoCommercial
safeMedicateMed admin calculationsNursing (safe medication practices)EnNoCommercial
Sentinel UVirtual world, exploratoryNursingEnNoCommercial
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

Supporting Resources for Virtual Simulations – 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 Simulations

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

* 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

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:

2. ibid

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