December 11, 2020By Lance Baily

Elsevier Acquires Virtual Patient Platform Company Shadow Health

Elsevier, a global leader in research publishing and information analytics, and part of RELX, has acquired Shadow Health, a Florida-based developer of virtual simulations in nursing and healthcare simulation education in December 2020. This acquisition enhances Elsevier’s portfolio of extensive digital education and clinical practice offerings for healthcare practitioners during a time of continued growth in telehealth due to COVID-19. Here we take a look at the platform and learn more about the acquisitions and its global implications.

Shadow Health specifically develops web-based educational software that includes digital clinical experiences. These experiences are designed to augment simulation courses for nursing learners and allied health education programs. Through the Shadow Health platform, learners have been able to engage with digital standardized patients using a state-of-the-art conversation engine and interactive 3D imagery to perform assessments, practice documentation and demonstrate critical thinking.

Following the acquisition of Shadow Health and this extensive virtual simulation platform, Elsevier plans to continue to expand digital learning solutions to help nurses gain clinical simulation practice experience with diversified cases. The acquisition comes after Elsevier’s recent launch of Transition to Practice in the United States. This is an immersive online learning platform that helps new nurses build skills and confidence as they transition from academia to professional clinical practice. With the Shadow Health acquisition and Transition to Practice launch, Elsevier is helping to lead the way in virtual simulation learning.


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“Clinical settings are often high-pressure environments. At Elsevier, we are proud to be a trusted partner for nurses around the world throughout their career from education to practice. The safe, engaging learning environment Shadow Health provides will further support nurses and healthcare professionals in their important work to improve patient outcomes,” said Jan Herzhoff, President of Global Health Markets at Elsevier.

“I am excited to welcome the Shadow Health team to Elsevier and look forward to supporting the needs of our customers while advancing our shared purpose of improving learning outcomes and practice readiness for future health professionals,” added Brent Gordon, Managing Director and General Manager, Nursing and Health Education, Elsevier.

Since 2011, Shadow Health’s digital clinical experiences have helped train and prepare nurses and healthcare practitioners for clinical settings. Powered by Shadow Health’s Conversation Engine, the company has offered cutting-edge simulations and conversation-based learning solutions. These allow learners to practice and apply their clinical reasoning skills through life-like interactions with a diverse range of virtual patients. Learners gain added confidence by practicing the skills they need to prioritize patient safety in a safe and standardized environment.


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Shadow Health shared that the company is proud to be joining Elsevier, as they work together to deliver enhanced digital solutions that will continue to empower healthcare practitioners on their learning journey. COVID-19 has exacerbated the need for advanced digital simulations in nursing and healthcare education and Shadow Health says the company looks forward to accelerating “Digital Clinical Experiences” during this critical time.

“The global pandemic has brought the need for virtual simulations in nursing and healthcare education into sharp focus. What is clear is that when we invest in better training for nurses, we’ll see better outcomes for patients. Shadow Health’s Digital Clinical Experiences allow learners to develop their clinical judgment and communication skills by interviewing, examining, and treating virtual patients,” said David Massias, co-founder and CEO of Shadow Health. “I’m very proud of everyone at Shadow Health. They have a heart for healthcare – for patients and their families – and work tirelessly to serve our customers better. Now, together with Elsevier, we’re excited to work as one team to accelerate global health, one patient and one nurse at a time.”

At Shadow Health, the mission is to become the worldwide leader in healthcare simulation, providing simulation educators and learners with leading-edge technology centered on conversation-based learning across a cast of virtual patients. To achieve this, Shadow Health increases the effectiveness of healthcare practitioners by training them through measured improvement in practical application, patient interaction, and personal empathy, empowering them to increase the health of those they serve.

The Shadow Health strategy involves strengthening learners and leaders to create an organization made up of individuals choosing to live out leadership qualities to achieve accelerated global health. By exploring where science, technology, education, and healthcare meet and developing pioneer products for that space, Shadow Health is creating the future. While the company is not creating the market, the sum total of what Shadow Health is discovering is new.

Together, innovators, scholars, designers, writers, and representatives truly committed to a quality customer experience make up the Shadow Health team. These team members push the boundaries of their field every day to deliver superior simulations. Through their contributions, Shadow Health’s evisions a healthy global population unleashed to do its greatest good through healthcare educational technology.

More About Elsevier

Elsevier is a global information analytics business specializing in science and health. Elsevier partners with educators in higher education and healthcare simulation programs to help prepare learners to succeed in diverse healthcare training environments. For more than 135 years, Elsevier has allowed learners to practice and apply essential skills in controlled, monitored environments by providing medical simulation solutions with world-class content, innovative teaching and learning technology.

Elsevier’s simulation solutions are specifically tailored for nursing and medical assistance programs. These products are designed to help build critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills, giving learners the confidence and clinical competence they need to succeed in professional practice. They offer realistic, hands-on experience in controlled and monitored environments, while enhancing learners’ critical thinking and clinical judgment abilities.

Since inception, Elsevier’s goal has been to prepare today’s learners for successful healthcare careers. The company combines content with technology supported by operational efficiency, making information actionable and empowering knowledge. Headquartered in Maryland Heights, Missouri, Elsevier is always evolving and works closely with educators to understand trends and challenges across various disciplines and subspecialties.

All Elsevier products and services are designed to enhance learning and support all institutional goals, including those of clinical simulation centers. Elsevier’s education solutions deliver detailed data and insightful analytics for improving learner retention and increasing program outcomes. By developing the most capable and caring professionals, the company has become a trusted partner in the mission to improve healthcare.

Learn More About Shadow Health


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