SimCore: Adaptive Simulation-based Tutoring for Healthcare Tutoring


U.S. Air Force and Air Force Research Laboratory



Combat medics, Paramedics, Firefighters, Emergency care nurses, Emergency first response teams


As homeland security becomes an increasing concern, training medical personnel to maintain readiness for medical emergencies has assumed critical importance. Simultaneously, an increase in demand for quality healthcare is placing additional demands for well-trained healthcare providers at all levels. Meeting this demand for highly-skilled and prepared healthcare force requires innovative solutions. Simulation-based training is an effective approach to learning complex procedural and decision-making skills. Computer-based, virtual simulations provide cost-effective effective training while minimizing time away from the important duties of responding to critical emergencies.  In order to be effective, simulations have to be tied to competencies and their assessment.


We developed a tool called SimCore to add intelligent performance assessment and coaching facilities to healthcare training simulations and games. Using SimCore, simulation developers could readily convert their simulations into automated tutors. Freed from the need for hands-on instructor-led support, simulation systems can be used to deliver not one but a variety of scenarios, giving students the opportunity to learn applying their newly acquired skills under varying conditions. Providing opportunities to apply skills under a variety of conditions is important to promoting deeper learning. SimCore included a scenario authoring tool for rapidly customizing existing scenarios or to create new ones. The SimCore package included a web-based Flash simulator that could be used out of the box.

SimCore offered the additional benefit of enabling the customization of scenarios to different protocol and procedures. Once a scenario had been developed, variations to represent different protocols could be rapidly created using the SimCore authoring tool. This is important in the field of healthcare training where protocols and practices can differ from county to county. The ability to customize the content to one’s organization is vital.

SimCore was designed to facilitate training paramedics in procedures, protocols, and decision-making skills. SimCore supports a wide range of complexity of simulations.

SimCore is based on the Task Tutor Toolkit application developed by Stottler Henke.


SimCore was delivered to the U.S. Air Force in 2006. It was subsequently used by Stottler Henke to developing simulation-based performance assessment batteries for the U.S. Army.

Related Applications

A tool like SimCore can be used for a wide variety of domains to rapidly create simulations for teaching procedures and decision-making skills. It has value for creating hands-on tutored simulations to serve as a transition between schoolhouse instruction to training on high-fidelity simulators that are often a scarce resource. These simulations can also be used as self-study content for refresher training or to augment schoolhouse lessons.

Additional Information

 SimCore screenshots

The figure above shows a screen from the authoring tool. The details of editing simulation events are shown.

The figure above shows a screen from the authoring tool. The details of editing simulation events are shown.


simulation interface with the hotspots and menus for user interactions.

The above figure shows the simulation interface with the hotspots and menus for user interactions.


Ramachandran, S., and Sorensen, B. (2007)  From Simulations to Automated Tutoring. Proceedings of the Fifteenth Conference on Medicine Meets Virtual Reality (MMVR 2007), Long Beach, CAView paper.


For additional information, demos, and pricing, please contact: Sowmya Ramachandran
Stottler Henke Associates, Inc.
San Mateo, CA

Sowmya at
(650) 931-2716