Pulse Physiology Engine: an Open-Source Software Platform for Computational Modeling of Human Medical Simulation


The Pulse Physiology Platform is an open-source software application designed to enable accurate and consistent, real-time physiologic simulations for improved medical training and clinical decision-making tools. The platform includes a physiology engine comprised of well-validated lumped-parameter models, differential equations representing feedback mechanisms, and a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model. The platform also includes a common data model for standard model and data definitions and a common software interface for engine control and robust physics-based circuit and transport solvers. The Pulse Platform has been incorporated into a number of commercial, research, and academic tools for medical simulation. Significance: The Pulse Platform is an innovative, well-validated, open-source tool for medical modeling and simulation in the training and clinical decision-making field.

The Pulse Physiology Platform includes a common software interface, a common data model, and the Pulse Physiology Engine. This platform supports a modular, extensible architecture for real-time simulations of the human physiology with validated physics-based computational physiology models.

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We would like to thank our early team that worked on the BioGears engine, the precursor to Pulse. We would also like to thank our collaborators on the Case Studies, including Jared Vicory and Cory Qualmann of Kitware, Lucas Potter of Old Dominion University, Michael Messer, James Tiller, Jr., Heidi Jansje Collins, and Catherine MacAllister of the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, and Farooq Gessa of Bucknell University. We would also like to thank Matt Pang of Entropic for his contribution to repository for compiling on ARM systems.


Initial work on the BioGears Engine (Pulse is a fork of BioGears) was funded by the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and administered by the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), Fort Detrick, MD under contract number W81XWH-13-2-0068.

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Correspondence to Rachel B. Clipp.

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Bray, A., Webb, J.B., Enquobahrie, A. et al. Pulse Physiology Engine: an Open-Source Software Platform for Computational Modeling of Human Medical Simulation. SN Compr. Clin. Med. 1, 362–377 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42399-019-00053-w

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  • Lumped-parameter
  • Medical modeling and simulation
  • Open-source software
  • Patient-specific modeling
  • Whole-body physiology