Questions about VR simulation

What's VR simulation?

VR stands for Virtual Reality. The terminology has changed a lot in recent years but the distinctions are:


“Virtual Simulation (VS)”: a simulation run on computer screen

“Virtual Reality (VR): a simulation delivered in a VR headset. Note that this only describes the hardware. The experience delivered can then by 360 Video or Fully Intereactive VR.


“360 Video” A video you watch in a VR headset, allowing you to turn your head. This lets you rotate your point of view. It can be viewed on a flat screen or in a VR headset. Can contain hotspots allowing engagement with elements.

“Fully interactive VR” This is regarded as true virtual reality. The user can interact with the environment and move around the virtual space in a similar way to real life. OMS is fully interactive VR. 

Get in touch with us for more information:

Is it like a video game?

In a way, yes. Education has learned a lot from the gaming industry and “serious gaming” has had remarkable results in many fields, including healthcare education (Wang, 2016).

Having said that, our characters look real, the scenarios are taken from real medical emergencies, and the environment is fully immersive and stressful. Learners therefore feel like they’re in a real emergency department instead of a game.

Is VR simulation an effective training method?

Yes – and there’s so much data we’ve made a whole page on it! 

See the evidence here
Why is VR different from e-learning?

Try it for yourself to find the answer to this! E-learning in slow, poorly engaging and users struggle to transfer learning to practice. VR could not be more different in terms of immersion and engagement (Starner, 2015) and this translates to better retention and practice (Kleinert, 2016). 

Being in VR isn’t like watching a medical emergency, it’s like taking charge of a medical emergency. In the words of final year medical student: “You just don’t get it until you’ve been in VR!”

So is it the same as physical sim?

Well, there are similarities and differences. 

Physical simulation is excellent for many aspects of training but it has drawbacks. Many users feel more engaged in VR than they do in physical simulation and we offer a range of features not available in physical sim, including privacy, replicability, repeatability, blended learning, immediate feedback and learner-guided debrief.

However, virtual reality simulation is not meant as a replacement for physical simulation. Rather, it takes the weight off simulation staff to allow increased simulation accessibility at reduced cost, allowing simulation faculty to get on with what they’re good at.

Learn more about the benefits of VR sim
Doesn't VR make you feel sick?

No. This can be a problem with low-end VR headsets or those without 6 degrees of freedom. However, OMS works on modern, consumer-facing headsets produced by world-leading companies. This, combined with our expertly designed software, provides a nausea-free experience.

Do users like doing VR?

They love it!

“It’s amazing – you feel like you’re in a whole other world.” Nursing student, Johns Hopkins University

“Honestly, this is the single most useful experience I’ve had so far in my medical training.” ED doctor, NHS

And the faculty do to… 

“The ability for our nursing students to practice standardized, realistic clinical scenarios whenever they need is game-changing.” Director of Simulation, New York University

“”Embedding OMS virtual reality simulation has enabled us to give a far greater number of learners access to simulation in a shorter space of time.” Simulation center manager, Oxford University

Questions about the OMS Platform

Do I need to buy a VR headset?

No! OMS runs on screen (PC, laptop, mac) AND in VR headsets – you can pick whatever works for you. This means that no additional hardware is required if you want to use OMS on screen only.

If you would like to run the software in VR then you will need a VR headset. We can help you source the appropriate kinds – at the moment we work with Oculus Rift, Oculus Rift S, Oculus Quest + Link and Oculus Quest 2 + Link.

We’re adding new headsets regaularly so please get in touch for what’s next.

Note that all VR headsets we recommend are simple to use and we provide full guidance and support in how to implement them effectively.

Do I need faculty to run this?

No. The OMS platform can run completely standalone requiring no faculty input – learners can complete scenarios on their own or in groups whenever they like. The virtual patients are AI-controlled, and scenarios adapt to what the learners are doing in real time, ensuring no scenario is exactly the same. 

Full automatic feedback, debrief and blended learning is provided at the end of each scenario. Faculty can then debrief in addition to this (sychronously or asynchronously) if needed.

If faculty are available, they can teach alonside or within scenarios as well – the way you use it is completely down to you!

We have an expert team of educational specialists who will help to support you and find the best implementation solution for your institution.

What kind of content do you cover?

We cover medical, nursing and allied health – covering a range of specialties, including adult, paediatrics, mental health and midwifery.

Many scenarios are available both in single player and multiplayer (interprofessional) modes.

Content is continually being expanded so please get in touch for the most up to date libraries.

Note that clinical skills and procedures, nursing OSCEs, community nursing and citical care are coming soon too!

What about feedback and debrief?

We’re with you – the majority of learning happens in the feedback and debrief.

We’ve therefore designed a feedback engine to record and intelligently analyse everything the learner does, from what rate of fluid they give to how they interacted with the team. After each scenario, the learner is given personalized feedback on how they performed relative to ideal management. This system has been designed by clinicians and simulation professionals using best evidence and is linked to relevant learning resources.

Our system of guided reflection has been designed by simulation faculty and educational technologists to optimize engagement, consolidate learning and ensure it is transferred to practice. 

Contact us for more information on how the scenarios are designed:

What training and support do you provide?

We are here to help you get the very most out of OMS!

We have a dedicated team on hand to provide advice and support throughout your OMS journey. From the first call you will be assigned a OMS educational specialist who will take you through the platform, provide tailored training sessions, and work with you to create an implementation plan.

They will then help you and your learners get set up, help ensure your launch is successful, and stay with you to help you integrate OMS in your insitution.

Our excellent in-house support team are on hand to provide assitance however you need it, details here.

Doesn't it cost a lot?

No, in fact in can be a huge cost-saving. For example Haerling (2018) finds that VR is equivalent to physical simulation in measures of learning and performance and “has a more favorable cost-utility ratio”

At OMS we offer a simple and flexible pricing model to allow our VR simulations to be made available to any institution, independent of size or budget. 

Please get in touch to find out more about which package is right for you and do discuss the return on investment OMS offers.

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101 Arch Street, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02110, USA

201 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1JA, UK