Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to see whether it is possible to learn any lessons from the application of simulation and modeling in the defense sector to be applied in the healthcare sector. Design/methodology/approach – Two comprehensive reviews are conducted within two domains of “Military & Aerospace” and “Healthcare”. A general search framework with common features is developed, while allowing rooms for customization for each domain. A common objective is set to cover a wide scope of simulation methods and application areas. Further, reviews are not restricted to a limited number of journals or conferences; rather the relevant databases are searched while using some filtering mechanisms. Findings – It is found that simulation has been commonly used in the defense sector(s). However, inconsistency in terms of the level of implementation in both the sectors is quite vivid. There is clear evidence that healthcare lags behind other sector(s), particularly in terms of stakeholder engagement and, consequently, in terms of implementation of simulation outcomes. Research limitations/implications – Owing to confidential nature of the defense sector, grey literature (which in this case is likely to include a considerable corpus of classified material) has not yet been reviewed. The paper speculates on the impact this has on the appreciation of the uptake of modelling and simulation in this sector and could form part of future research. Originality/value – This paper provides key insights into some challenges of applying simulation methods in healthcare, whilst presenting an up-to-date overall picture of simulation in two main sectors from an academic point of view.
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