Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

What is web-based simulation and how does it work?

Simulation means imitating a situation or process, often for the purpose of training. We've developed simulations that run online, in your web browser, that let you learn clinical skills and procedures without needing to have access to real equipment, consumables or a patient. Web-based simulation is a great way to bridge the gap after you've learned about a skill or procedure in lectures and textbooks, before you have to do it in a lab or even in real life. You can make mistakes with no-one looking over your shoulder, and without hurting anyone or using up resources.

The way our simulations work is that each skill or procedure is broken down into its component steps and you choose what to do at each step, what equipment or consumables to use, what part of the patient's anatomy is appropriate, and so on. SIMTICS will guide you will you're learning and practicing, and when you're ready you can move on to do the simulation in "test mode" - this is where you have to remember the steps yourself, without guidance.

I'm not sure that web-based learning is right for me...

Of course hands-on experience is the best way of learning a new skill--however you don’t have access to the necessary equipment and consumables all the time, nor an expert by your side to guide you. Cognitive simulation has proven to be the next best way of acquiring and perfecting your skills, and that's what SIMTICS offers you.

Approximately 75% of procedural skills are cognitive (thinking skills) and SIMTICS online simulations are therefore a great way to learn. You can practice online and supplement any other learning activities you are undertaking. Our approach offers maximum flexibility for people like you with busy schedules--and you don’t need a special software or access to expensive equipment.

Our web-based simulations mean you can practice a procedure or skill as often as you wish, in a safe (and non-judgmental!) environment, until you feel absolutely confident. This is a great way to prepare for a lab or clinical externship, and to practice procedures and skills that you may not be able to observe or participate in for any reason.

Why not trial a sample module for free and see if you like it? Start your free trial now.

I would like to see how it works, can I trial SIMTICS for free?

We invite you to try a sample module free of charge which you will be able to access for 14 full days so you can assess whether the SIMTICS style of simulation-based learning suits you. Start your free trial now.

Who else uses SIMTICS?

When you use SIMTICS, you will be joining thousands of fellow students who are being provided SIMTICS access by their school/university, individual learners who are extending or complementing their studies, and healthcare professionals refreshing their knowledge and skills.

We are proud to support individual subscribers in over 90 countries right around the world, while our institutional customers include universities, career colleges, community colleges, sonography and radiography schools, hospitals, clinics, and other institutions. 

What if I get stuck, do you offer any support?

If you need help with using SIMTICS, please check out the Tutorial which is available when you log in. This explains exactly how to use the product and access all the rich learning features. Other common support questions are answered here on our FAQ page. If you still can’t find the answer you need, SIMTICS offers unlimited email support at support@simtics.com.

Do you keep the modules up to date?

Yes. SIMTICS is in the business of providing current best practice content. We review our content on a regular basis, and while you have an active subscription you will get immediate access to any updates that we release. If you do see anything that you think needs updating, by all means please contact us - it might have arisen in between our content reviews, and we always welcome feedback.

How can I be sure your modules teach the right way of performing the procedures?

SIMTICS modules are created by experienced healthcare professionals and are based on best practice, just like textbooks are. Nevertheless we recommend that you check this with your supervisor or professor regarding minor local variations in your state, your country or in the healthcare facility where you work. 

Can I earn CME/CE/CPD points or credits with your modules?

This is not a major focus for us since most of our customers are academic institutions, however you can earn certain CME/CE/CPD credits as follows:

  • Society for Vascular Ultrasound (SVU): 15 points available with our 5 vascular ultrasound modules (3 CME points each). For further information check here 
  • Up to 44 BRN Credits (USA) are available for SIMTICS obstetric & fe ultrasound via Professional Education Center. To obtain these credits, please purchase your training directly from PEC's website
  • Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) - for further information check here

What are the terms of use?

You can view our Terms of Use here

Using the software

What's the difference between learn mode and test mode simulations?

In learn mode, the first thing you'll notice is that you can select a scenario. There are usually 3 in each module that you can choose from. We recommend that you learn all of the scenarios that are provided.

Once you start a scenario in learn mode, the SIMTICS simulator will guide you through the steps of the procedure with "color cues" that turn green or red depending on whether you are correct or incorrect. The color cues appear:

  • when you are answering a question about a step in the procedure
  • when you are selecting an item from the tool panel
  • when you are trying to place a selected item in the correct location.

In test mode, you cannot choose a specific scenario - the system will give you one of the scenarios at random. And there are no color cues during the simulation - thsi is your opportunity to demonstrate your cognitive skill by drawing on your knowledge of the procedure and what to do at each step.

The other difference is that learn mode scores do not count towards a Certificate of Completion. For the certificate you need to complete a scenario in test mode, and achieve at least 80%.

 

Can I get a certificate of completion?

Yes. You will be able to download a Certificate of Completion for each module after you have achieved the miimum criteria:

  1. a total study time of at least one hour
  2. a simulation Test score of at least 80% - OR in modules without simulations (for example. Ultrasound Physics, Radiography theory modules) you must score at least 80% in a quiz.

Certificates will become available in your Account Dashboard and/or on your Logbook Summary page after you have achieved the minimum criteria for a module. You will need to log out and log back in again to ensure that the server sychronizes your logbook data and is able to calculate your certificate criteria.

The video won't play

It can take a little while for a video to load ready for viewing, depending on your internet connection speed. The timeline bar at the bottom of the screen gradually turns from gray to yellow to show you the loading progress. You can start playing a video before it is fully downloaded, but you can only play sections of the video where the status bar has already turned yellow.

If you still have a problem with the video, please check that you have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player, and download it if necessary. If that doesn't help, then we recommend you try again with a different web browser.

My mouse/scroll-wheel doesn't work in the simulation

Some wireless laser mouse models do not support the scroll wheel functionality in our simulations. Please try a different make or model of mouse, or you can use "click and drag" instead.

How many times can I view a module? How long do I have access to a module?

Once you’ve subscribed to a module you will have 12 months’ access to it for the advertised subscription price. You can study the module as often and as long as you want during that time. There are no limits.

Will my results be shared with anyone, or are they just for my own record?

As an individual subscriber, your results will not be shared with anyone else.

If you use SIMTICS via your school, college, university, association or employer, your data may be accessible by your instructor or supervisor.

What if I start and I'm interrupted?

Not a problem! You can return to your learning whenever your schedule permits. Two things to be aware of:

  • SIMTICS logs all of your study time, and since we don't want to log time when you are not active in a module, the system will "time out" if you are not active for 15 minutes and you will have to log in again. (By "active" we mean any of the following: watching a video, scrolling through text, viewing the anatomy, doing a quiz, doing a simulation.)
  • If you stop part-way through a quiz or simulation, you will need to start again once you get back to your computer or device.

 

Purchasing the software

How can I purchase access?

Personal Subscriptions for private study can be purchased from this website. To purchase a subscription, identify the module you are interested in, click on its name to see the full description, then click the green Buy Now button. If you haven't set up an account before, SIMTICS will prompt you for your contact and payment details. Once you are registered, you can purchase additional subscriptions in the same way.

If you are interested in an Institution License for your school, college, university, company, or other type of organization, please contact us for more information.

When will I be charged?

For Personal Subscriptions you will be charged the applicable module fee at time of purchase, which can be paid by Visa or Mastercard. Each time you wish to purchase another subscription, click on the Buy Now button, confirm your purchase to authorize the applicable fee, and the module will be added to your dashboard.

For monthly subscriptions, you will be charged the applicable fee each month until you remove all modules from your account or close your account completely. 

What types of payment do you accept?

For Personal Subscriptions purchased via our web shop, we accept payment by Visa and Mastercard. 

What does my personal subscription entitle me to?

From the moment you purchase a module or a set of modules, you will have access to that module for the period of the subscription. That might be 1 month or 12 months, depending on the type of subscription you purchased.

You can study the module as often as you like during the subscription period, for as long as you like. Included in your subscription is a personalized record of learning that keeps track of all your study time and scores. You are also able to obtain unlimited email support if you need assistance.

Your subscription is valid for a single, named user, for your own personal learning, and is not transferable. Please keep your username and password confidential. They are for your use only and provide access to your study records, scores and errors. Furthermore, sharing your username and password with someone else would also enable them to make SIMTICS purchases on your credit card.

Note: Our system flags unusual usage patterns and we reserve the right to cancel a subscription if we deem it is being abused. 

What happens after the subscription for a module has expired?

Annual subscriptions: Your subscription to a module will expire 12 months after the purchase date. We will remind you when it's getting near to expiry. If you would like to extend, the yearly fee will apply, or you can purchase a different type of subscription. Once a module subscription has expired, you will no longer be able to access the module, however your study records and scores (and any certificates you earned) will still be available in your logbook.

Monthly subscriptions: Your subscription will renew automatically on the anniversary of the date your purchased the subscription. It will continue to renew and be charged each month until you remove that module from your account. Once you have removed a module from your account, you will no longer be able to access the module, however your study records and scores (and any certificates you earned) will still be available in your logbook.

How can I see what modules I have purchased?

To access your account, you will need to Log In with your email address and password. Then click on the "Hello" link at the top of the webpage. This will display your personal account area with a list of the modules you have subscribed to. 

How are you making sure my credit card details are safe?

The security of your personal information is very important to us. Your credit card details are held in encrypted form in a secure online vault by our payment processing partner, Payment Express. You can access their privacy policy here:
http://www.paymentexpress.com/about/about_paymentexpress/privacy_policy.html.

If you want to change the credit card that you use for SIMTICS purchases, log in, go to your Dashboard, and go to Account Information.

How can I update my credit card information?

A month before the expiry date on your credit card, we will send you a reminder and a secure link where you can update your card details. If you want to change your card at any other time, please contact us and we will send you a secure personal link.

If you want to change the credit card that you use for SIMTICS purchases at any other time, log in, go to your Dashboard, and go to Account Information.

Can I purchase subscriptions for more than one person?

Institution Licenses can cover any number of users in an education institution, hospital, or other organization. Volume discounts apply, which makes the per-user price very affordable.

Contact info@simtics.com for more information and to discuss your needs.

Why does my credit card payment keep being declined?

There are three common issues that could be causing this problem –

1) Your billing address on file with SIMTICS does not exactly match what is on your credit card statement. Please check this by logging in to your SIMTICS account, and going to your Account Dashboard. Sometimes it can be something as simple as a period (full-stop) or a comma out of place, or a minor spelling mistake.

2) Your credit card company put fraud detection security on the card, or they have imposed limits on transactions originating outside of your home country (SIMTICS credit card processing is done in New Zealand.) In that case, please call your credit card company to lift the hold and ask them to note SIMTICS as an authorized payee on your card.

3) The credit card has reached its credit limit.

Please contact us if you have checked all 3 items and the problem still persists.

Getting started

How does the free trial work?

We offer the option of trialling one module for free, so you can assess whether the SIMTICS style of e-learning and online simulation is right for you. There are a list of sample modules available as part of the free trial. You will see this list when you sign up - the system provides a drop-down list for you to choose from.

To access the free trial again before it expires, you log in at www.simtics.com, then click on "Hello" to view the My Account page. You can launch your free trial module from that page.

We will remind you as you get near to the expiry of your free trial.

How does the software work?

The SIMTICS modules are all easy to use and web-based, so you can access them wherever there is an internet connection. To get a better idea of how SIMTICS works, you can watch the SIMTICS virtual tour on YouTube.

Each of the modules covers one specific procedure or topic in detail. Each module contains:

  • an online simulation (for procedure modules) in both learn and test modes
  • descriptive text, which explains exactly how to perform that particular procedure step-by-step, with illustrations, key terms, references, and links to relevant journal articles and websites
  • 2D and 3D images of applied anatomy for that procedure or topic
  • a step by step video demonstration by an expert
  • one or more multi-choice quizzes that you can use before and after your study
  • a personal logbook that tracks all the modules you’ve studied and how long you’ve spent on each. It also records your scores in the simulator and the quizzes, completion times, and any errors you make in the simulator.

When you have set up your SIMTICS account, you will be offered a tutorial when you first log in. The tutorial is also available from your menu if you ever want to go over it again.

For more details on SIMTICS features and how you can benefit from our unique simulation-based learning system, click here

How do I purchase a subscription?

Browse the online shop to find the module you're interested in, click on its name to view the product detail page, then click on BUY NOW. When you buy your first subscription you'll be asked to enter your contact and payment details. These details will be held on file to make your future purchases easy.

You can purchase additional module subscriptions whenever you are ready to start studying a new skill or topic. These will be charged to the credit card on file.

Is there a user guide or tutorial?

You can access our user guide online. This link is also available at the bottom of every page at www.simtics.com.

We also have a tutorial within the product. You can access this from the module menu after you have logged in to your account.

How do I access the modules I've subscribed to?

That's easy. First, log in with your email address and password, then click on the "Hello" link to display your menu of available modules. (Both of those links are at the top-right of the home page.) Then click on a module name to launch it.

What are the hardware and software requirements?

SIMTICS runs on just about any computer or laptop that supports Adobe Flash Player.

  • You can use any browser running Adobe Flash Player 9.0.124 or higher. (You can get the latest version of Flash Player from the Adobe website.)
  • We recommend an internet connection speed of 1.5 Mbps or higher. You can check your connection speed here.
  • A mouse with a scroll-wheel is useful in the simulations; the scroll wheel is used for certain actions such as inserting a needle or manipulating the ultrasound transducer. Alternatively you can use "click and drag" with a mouse or trackpad.
  • Certain mouse models do not support all scroll wheel functionality in a web browser. In this case you may need to use a different mouse, or use click and drag instead.

How fast can I start using the SIMTICS software?

You’ll have immediate access as soon as you start your free trial or purchase a module subscription. If you choose the free trial option, you can upgrade to a paid subscription at any time, and at that point you will be asked for your contact details and payment information.

Tutorials

System Requirements

Logging In

Navigating the Course

Reporting Features

Trouble Shooting

Group Admin Reporting

General Questions

What is web-based simulation and how does it work?

Simulation is the imitation of a real-world situation, system or process, often for the purpose of training. In medical and allied health education, people often associate the word with simulation centers that need to be equipped with physical equipment and mannequins, and where simulation events need to be planned, scheduled and staffed. This type of experience is incredibly valuable, but what happens in between simulation sessions?

Our two founders, both surgeons, wanted students to be able to study anywhere, anytime, even just-in-time. So they developed simulation software that lets students learn clinical skills and procedures without needing equipment, consumables, or a patient. It was originally a desktop product and now runs in a web browser, in the cloud.

Web-based simulation is a great way to bridge the gap between theory and practice - so students are better prepared before they have to perform a skill in a lab or even in real life. With SIMTICS they can practice as many times as they need to without needing equipment or using up resources, and they can make mistakes with no-one looking over their shoulder, and more importantly without hurting anyone.

Because SIMTICS is computer software, it can track each student's activity, including study time per module, scores in quizzes and simulations, and errors made in the simulations.

Who else uses SIMTICS to complement their curriculum?

When using SIMTICS, your students will be joining thousands of others who are complementing their studies, or refreshing their knowledge and skills.

Our institutional customers include community colleges, universities, career colleges, sonography and radiography schools, high schools, and hospitals. You can read some of these customers' stories on our website and also in articles on this blog site

Individual learners in over 100 countries, right around the world, also subscribe to our modules.

I'm not sure that an online resource is right for our students - can you tell me more?

Live, hands-on training is obviously the best way of learning a new practical skill; however, most students don't have access to this all the time, when they have time to learn. Also, it's estimated that around 75% of the skills required for the safe performance of procedures are cognitive, which means many of those can be acquired in other ways. Simulation is the next best way of learning, rehearsing and perfecting these cognitive skills.

SIMTICS web-based simulations are therefore a great way to supplement your current teaching and learning resources. Our modules offer maximum flexibility to fit in with your curriculum and you don’t need to provide special computer devices or expensive equipment. And because SIMTICS is available anytime/anywhere online, your students can easily fit it into their busy schedules. They can even access SIMTICS outside of school hours, at home, on the train, in a cafe.

The way our simulations work is that each skill or procedure is broken down into its component steps and learners choose what to do at each step, what equipment or consumables to use, and what anatomical landmarks to look for. SIMTICS will guide them while they're learning and practicing, so they can build a mental model of the procedure. When they're ready they can do each simulation in "test mode" - they will be presented with a scenario at random, and this is where they demonstrate that they know how to perform that procedure without guidance.

Learners can practice the procedures as often as they wish, in a safe environment, without using up consumables, and without needing a patient, until they feel absolutely confident. This is a great way for them to prepare for a lab or externship, and to let them experience and practice certain procedures that they would not otherwise get exposed to.

Contact us to start your evaluation of SIMTICS or to request a web demonstration.

How does the software work?

The SIMTICS modules are all easy to use and web-based. This means they are available at anytime as long as the user has an internet connection. No special hardware or other equipment is required, other than a computer mouse or other cursor control device (eg. trackpad) for use in the simulations. Each of the SIMTICS modules covers one specific procedure or topic in detail and contains:

  • an online simulation for procedural modules (available in Learn and Test modes)
  • descriptive text, which explains exactly how to perform that particular procedure including references, key terms and links to relevant journal articles
  • 2D images and a 3D model of applied anatomy for that particular topic
  • a step by step video demonstration by an expert
  • a multi-choice quiz to test didactic knowledge
  • a personal logbook that keeps track of the user's study time in each module, their scores in the simulations and quizzes, and any errors made in the simulations.

Take 2 minutes to watch a virtual tour of the software riight now. For more details on features and how your students can benefit from our unique system, click here.

How many times can learners view a module? How long do they have access to a module?

An Institution Subscription provides 12 months’ access for each user. Each module can be used as often and as long as the learner wants during that time. You can also allow your learners to access SIMTICS off-campus and out of hours. There are no limits. This ensures your students will be able to continue studying, practicing and testing until they feel confident and have acquired the skill to your minimum competency standards. 

How do you make sure your modules are aligned with current standards?

SIMTICS is in the business or providing current best practice online simulation training. It’s what we do and our success, and by extension your success, depend upon it. When we create and update modules, our subject experts and writers refer to the most popular textbooks, and also look for and review any new research or recommendations. Details of these resources, and links where available, can be found at the end of the text in each module.

Is it possible to see our students’ results?

Yes. If you purchase access for your class or institution, you will automatically qualify for access to our Group Administration and Reporting system which aggregates all of your student data into reports that you can view on screen, and print or download in PDF or CSV format. These reports can help with your program accreditation and allow your instructors to identify areas of relative strength and weakness in your students’ procedural competency. For reporting purposes, students can be grouped in different ways according to your needs, to make reporting easier.

If you want your students to access SIMTICS from your learning management system (LMS), SIMTICS supports LTI which will give your students seamless access to SIMTICS using their existing LMS login (“Single Sign On”), and transfer test scores automatically to your gradebook. We currently have customers using SIMTICS with products like Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, and proprietary LMS systems.

What if our students get stuck, do you offer any support?

For new students, SIMTICS provides a user guide in PDF and online formats, a built-in tutorial inside the product, and FAQs on the website.

Your institutional subscription also includes unlimited Second-Level Support which provides email and phone support to your faculty, librarians and IT helpdesk. Your students would report issues to your internal helpdesk as normal (this is "first level support), and if your helpdesk is unable to resolve an issue, they can escalate to SIMTICS for assistance.

If you would prefer SIMTICS to provide first-level support direct to your students, then additional support packages are available for purchase.

Do you keep the modules up to date?

Yes. SIMTICS is in the business of providing current best practice online simulation content. It’s what we do, and our success - and by extension your success - depends upon it. We review the modules regularly against latest best practice, and update them where required. However if you find anything that needs to be updated, please let us know - it may be something that came up between our content reviews, or we might have missed it (we're human too!)

Who designed and wrote the SIMTICS e-learning modules?

SIMTICS was originally founded by two surgeons, Prof. John Windsor and George Oosthuizen. They first came up with the idea of simulating medical skills on a computer to aid learning, and led a small team to create the prototype product, which was first launched to the world in late 2007.

Our content development team includes world-leading health professionals and subject experts from different fields of medicine and allied health. They, in conjunction with our medical writers and editors, write the text, quiz questions, and the specifications for the other components (video, anatomy, simulation), with assistance from professional writers and editors. Our graphic designers and animators create the illustrations, animations and anatomy models; film industry professionals make the videos under the direction of subject experts; and our simulation team build the simulations. And last but nowhere near least (because they have such an important role!) our tireless team of testers spent many hours testing each module to make sure that any bugs and glitches were identified and resolved.

Pricing and payment

How much do the modules cost and do you offer pricing if we decide to purchase larger quantities?

Individual subscription pricing starts from US$20 to $35 / module / user / year. Institutional pricing offers volume discounts for multi-user, multi-module subscriptions. Please email us at sales@simtics.com with brief details of your potential requirements or phone our US office on +1. 646.583.0825 and we’ll be pleased to provide you with detailed pricing information.

How can I purchase your modules?

For information about Institution Subscription pricing for education institutions, healthcare organizations, or corporates, please contact sales@simtics.com (or phone our US office on +1. 646.583.0825) with brief details of your potential requirements:

  • Your field of interest (Sonography, Radiography, Nursing, Medical Assisting, Medicine.)
  • The approximate number of SIMTICS modules (please include a list if possible)
  • The number of users (students and tutors)
  • Plus the name of your organization and relevant contact details

You may also wish to download our brochure.

What types of payment do you accept?

For Institution Subscriptions, we prefer payment by international bank transfer/wire. The fees for your Institution Subscription are payable annually in advance.

Once we've purchased the modules, how do we offer access to our students and health care professionals?

Each user will be provided with individual access, which will track their personal study time, activity and scores. SIMTICS modules can be delivered directly from our website or through your Learning Management System via our Application Programming Interface (API.) Please contact sales@simtics.com (or phone our US office on +1. 646.583.0825) with brief details of your potential requirements.

I would like to see how it works before we commit, can I assess your software for free?

We invite you to try one module of your choice free of charge which you will be able to access for 14 full days for your assessment. If you wish to assess multiple modules, please contact sales@simtics.com and we can accommodate your request.  

Don't wait. Try SIMTICS now!

Try Simtics for free

Start my free trial