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New MR training platform for pharmaceutical & healthcare industry

In the realm of pharmaceutical firms and the healthcare industry, an advanced mixed reality training platform is in the works.

Collaborating with Holosphere and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, the UK-based immersive technology startup, FourPlus, secured funding from Innovate UK to develop and test this cutting-edge mixed reality training platform tailored for pharmaceutical and healthcare organisations.

The project secured a substantial GBP 1 million investment through the Digitalization and Automation of Medicines R&D and Manufacture competition, with roughly 75% of the funding coming from Innovate UK. This financial boost aims to create a versatile platform with multi-player and mixed reality capabilities.

Designed for various manufacturing roles in the biopharmaceutical, cell and gene therapy, and broader life science industries, including hospital settings, the digital and automated training platform will not only support initial staff training and validation but also facilitate the development of digital training records. Moreover, it will enable seamless virtual collaboration between healthcare instructors and students. The integration of data analytics technologies will further provide valuable insights for training and competence assessment requirements.

Over an 18-month period, FourPlus will diligently work on delivering this collaborative project. By the end of 2023, the market can expect the launch of the first version of an automated and digital teaching platform.

This innovative training platform will complement FourPlus’ existing technology portfolio, which already redefines onboarding and training procedures for new employees and apprentices in technical areas within the healthcare and biopharma industries. Utilising FourPlus software results in significant cost savings by expediting the time required to achieve competency.

Furthermore, the automation and standardisation of core training components ensure uniform capabilities among workers, guaranteeing excellence in all technical roles within an organisation.

An additional benefit of this creative approach is the reduction of single-use consumables in physical lab training, which significantly lowers waste streams, contributing to environmental improvement.

Dr Ivan Wall, CEO of FourPlus, said that using Holosphere and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, his company’s team is really delighted to start this unique endeavour. The effectiveness of VR in aiding the training of new personnel in the sector is well-established, as it saves time, money, facility utilisation, and reduces waste generation.

This project represents the next-generation solution, combining mixed reality, training customisation, multi-user interaction, data analytics, and training support features. Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult will contribute to the project by testing the platform with industry apprentices and integrating best-in-class networked co-localisation technologies provided by project partner Holosphere.

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult’s Chief Executive Matthew Durdy said that improvement in all areas is necessary to support the predicted expansion of the cell and gene treatment market. The innovative use of VR and MR by FourPlus is a wonderful illustration of how emerging innovations may satisfy market needs. The anticipation to test this platform with FourPlus, Holosphere, and our apprentice community is high.

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