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iMedicalApps: STAR, the Simulation Tools and Resources App

Many resuscitation programs now mandate simulation as part of the training including NRP, PALS, ACLS, and ALSO. An entire industry of high-fidelity (and high-cost) medical simulators has been created by companies such as Laerdal, Limbs and Things, and Lifespan. The U.S. military incorporated high-fidelity simulation into the training of medics and nearly all of their residency programs. I have personally been involved in the creation of the family medicine simulation curriculum for more than 10 years. Finally, and without going into a literature review, the evidence has demonstrated definitively that simulation saves lives, reduces medical errors, and improves patient care.

We recently reviewed the HEEADSSS app developed in the U.K. and raved about the simple and effective interface and comprehensive supporting links and websites. The same author, James Edelman, working with the U.K. National Health Service (NHS) and the Pediatric Innovation, Education, and Research Network (PIER) has created a fantastic simulation app called STAR: Simulation Tools and Resources. It brings a comprehensive pediatric simulation curriculum to smart devices for in-situ medical simulation. I haven’t seen anything like this before on a smartphone.

STAR app collates numerous high-quality simulation scenarios on a wide variety of topics from across the U.K. Many of the scenarios include the national guidelines/protocols for specific scenarios (newborn resuscitation for example) used in the U.K. or other NHS materials. Other scenarios list specific references (some are included as supporting materials in PDFs). Certainly, the main concern with any app like this would be the need for scenario authors to periodically update their simulation scenarios based on new evidence/guidelines, etc.


  • A pediatric simulation curriculum available in an app for your phone
  • Excellent supporting materials that can be used for debriefing, further education
  • Available for iOS and Android


  • Resources limited to pediatrics
  • Not much information in the scenarios for debriefing; not all scenarios in same format
  • Needs faculty development section for “how” to perform in-situ simulation

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