Simulation and digital health

Areas of expertise

Extended reality cognitive care

At the NRC's Medical Devices Research Centre, the simulation and digital health section develops industry‑standard research software and technologies in support of health care delivery. Biomedical software researchers work front‑line in projects with a wide network of clinical, industrial and government collaborators from across Canada; on applications ranging from cognitive function, psychiatric disorders, mobility, physiological monitoring, clinician training and patient awareness. The section comprises 4 research teams with corresponding expertise:

  • Connected health: medical software security/privacy, internet of medical things and intelligent frictionless interaction models for vulnerable populations
  • Cognitive health technologies: interactive immersive simulation, neuropsychology‑based instructional design, neuro/bio sensing and patient‑computer interface
  • Biomedical data intelligence: applied biomedical data science, human‑like virtual assistants
  • Bio‑mechatronics: real‑time interactive biomechanical models, modelling of manipulative interactions including haptics, biomaterials science


Medical task simulation

The NRC efficiently works in projects by relying on 3 internal software platforms:

  • bActive/bTrained (interactive training of patients, clinicians and surgeons)
  • bWell (interactive assessment and treatment of cognitive and psychiatric disorders)
  • bConnected (management of patient data for remote patient‑caregiver interactions)

These tools are used separately or in combination, and are often the basis for collaborative agreements with industry, academics and clinicians. Collaboration can take a number of forms:

Doctor providing interactive remote care
  • Individual projects with problem‑specific customized solutions 
  • Agile‑based iterative developments based on user feedback
  • Technical support geared towards maximizing user adoption
  • Scientific support/supervision of highly qualified personnel in software adaptations