Elsevier acquires Shadow Health, a leading provider of best-in-class healthcare simulations

Acquisition enhances Elsevier’s extensive digital education and clinical practice offerings for healthcare practitioners during a time of continued growth in telehealth

London, December 9, 2020

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 education.

Shadow Health’s Digital Clinical Experiences train and prepare nurses and healthcare practitioners for clinical settings. Its cutting-edge simulations, powered by Shadow Health’s Conversation Engine, enable learners to practice and apply their clinical reasoning skills through life-like interactions with a diverse range of virtual patients. Engaging in conversation-based learning, students gain confidence by practicing the skills they need to care for patients in a safe and standardized environment.

The addition of Shadow Health enhances Elsevier’s extensive portfolio of digital health solutions at a time when experts are calling for improved communication skills from healthcare providers and nursing students. According to a study conducted by Harvard Medical Institutions, poor communication has been shown to be one of the main drivers of preventable medical errors, contributing to more than 30 percent of medical malpractice claims involving patient harm.1 COVID-19 has further compounded this issue in both ICU and telehealth settings as healthcare practitioners come under increasing pressure.

David Massias, Co-founder and CEO, Shadow Health, said: “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. 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.”

David Massias
Shadow Health Co-founder and CEO, David Massias.

Image of a LGBTQ family: Jennifer, Vivian and their baby, Eden (left). Image of maternal health patient, Daanis, in the bed holding her stomach, along with the exam menu and interview guide (right).

As a global leader in nursing and health education, Elsevier works with healthcare educators to prepare students for successful careers in medicine, nursing and health professions and to provide world-class content and innovative learning tools and analytics that improve educational outcomes and help prepare students for healthcare practice.

Jan Herzhoff, President of Global Health Markets at Elsevier, said: “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.”

Currently, Shadow Health products are used in more than 900 institutions across North America.

Founded in Gainesville, Florida, in 2011, Shadow Health was originally a UF Innovate start-up, a University of Florida program established to foster innovative businesses.

The acquisition follows Elsevier’s recent launch of Transition to Practice in the US, an immersive online learning platform that supports new nurses to build skills and confidence as they transition from academia to professional clinical practice.

Brent Gordon, Managing Director and General Manager, Nursing and Health Education, Elsevier, said:

“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.”


Note for editors
1 Sourced from: “Malpractice Risks in Communication Failures,” CRICO Strategies, a division of Harvard Medical Institutions (2015).

About Shadow Health
Shadow Health® is an educational software developer of web-based Digital Clinical Experiences™ designed to augment courses for nursing students and allied health education programs. Students 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. www.shadowhealth.com

About RELX
RELX is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The group serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs over 30,000 people of whom almost half are in North America. The shares of RELX PLC, the parent company, are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX. The market capitalisation is approximately £34bn, €38bn, $46bn. www.relx.com

About Elsevier
As a global leader in information and analytics, Elsevier helps researchers and healthcare professionals advance science and improve health outcomes for the benefit of society. We do this by facilitating insights and critical decision-making for customers across the global research and health ecosystems.

In everything we publish, we uphold the highest standards of quality and integrity. We bring that same rigor to our information analytics solutions for researchers, health professionals, institutions and funders.

Elsevier employs 8,100 people worldwide. We have supported the work of our research and health partners for more than 140 years. Growing from our roots in publishing, we offer knowledge and valuable analytics that help our users make breakthroughs and drive societal progress. Digital solutions such as ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath support strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and health education. Researchers and healthcare professionals rely on our 2,500+ digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell; our 40,000 eBook titles; and our iconic reference works, such as Gray's Anatomy. With the Elsevier Foundation and our external Inclusion & Diversity Advisory Board, we work in partnership with diverse stakeholders to advance inclusion and diversity in science, research and healthcare in developing countries and around the world.

Elsevier is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. www.elsevier.com.

Media contacts
Terri Mueller, Vice President, Health Markets
Elsevier Communications, USA

David Tucker, Director, Research Products
Elsevier Communications, UK