The VAM (virtual anesthesia machine) website is a well known resource for anesthesiology machine simulation. Developed at the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Florida it provides a number of free simulations on subjects related to anesthesiology and pharmacokinetics. More advanced teaching tools are provided for a nominal fee.
As many engineers, researchers and educators are aware accurate simulations provide a very useful way to visualize what is going on with complex systems, stimulate interactive exploration and examine multiple scenarios. Although useful in providing insights simulation results always need to be verified before they can be considered reliable. Even then the conditions where the simulation should be considered valid is limited to the range scenarios it has been tested.
The VAM website provides the opportunity for students and engineers unfamiliar with anesthesiology an insight into anesthesia machines. Delivering anesthetics are not typically considered an area of concentration by undergraduate or graduate biomedical engineers but certainly are a critical piece equipment for the Biomedical Engineering Technologist (BMET) or Biomedical Electronic Technician (BMET) to understand. The simulations available at this location provide a fairly comprehensive insight into their workings. They are certainly a good resource for anyone interested in teaching or learning the basics of these machines and pharmacokinetics.