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Medical sim offering $20 million in funding to train physicians using VR

FundamentalVR, a virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) immersive simulation ecosystem for healthcare and medical practitioners, has secured $20 million in a round of investment to speed up knowledge transfer and operational competency, via VR and MR applications.

Virtual reality technology, which was seen as one of the most talked about forms of immersive technology for a long time, has mostly been restricted to gaming and a few industrial applications to date. There are some key players including social and tech giant Meta, who are currently putting in efforts to alter that reality. VR, however, has been embraced openly by the healthcare and medicine industry sectors. One of the instances that used the technology form included brain tumour surgery more than a decade back. More recently, VR technology has been used in different aspects of healthcare, resulting in solutions that could target mental health issues including social anxiety, and also be used to train surgeons.

Medical emulation is a perfect demonstration of how virtual reality and mixed reality systems are having a major influence beyond the realms of mainstream exposure. Some VR and MR technologies are now used commonly to help new clinicians get trained or aid surgeons in efficiently managing capabilities and trying out new procedures. According to Research and Markets, the medical and healthcare simulations industry is worth $2 billion currently. There are expectations of this value increased considerably within the next five years. FundamentalVR is looking forward to the industry expanding.

FundamentalVR, established in London a decade back, is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that integrates virtual reality (VR) with haptics to provide healthcare practitioners with training opportunities in anterior total hip replacement (A-THR),  total knee replacement (TKA), facetectomies, orthopaedic joint / spine procedures, posterior total hip replacement (P-THR), and much more.

The company’s Fundamental Surgery platform has something known as HapticVR at its core. This technology makes use of physical sensory input to enhance the realism of virtual treatments. HapticVR is suitable for a variety of mobile devices, such as haptic gloves and controllers.

It is important to bear in mind that FundamentalVR makes available the hardware components once collaborators and organisations require the same, as part of a commercial agreement. However, in most cases, FundamentalVR serves as the generator and interface for the existing infrastructure for the hardware of businesses. These include VR headgear such as Oculus Quest and HTC Vive, as well as MR platforms like Holo Lens and Magic Leap.

According to FundamentalVR CEO Richard Vincent’s account to TechCrunch, the new offering is intended to be functional across a wide array of hardware, and work on many laptops, haptic devices and VR headsets. Users can easily get access to such products across reputed online stores and physical retail locations. He stressed that this had made the solutions easily customisable and more cost-efficient. Furthermore, FundamentalVR enables an indefinite number of individuals to participate in online classes and operation rooms all over the globe.

The current round of investment for FundamentalVR was spearheaded by EQT Life Sciences, alongside support from Downing Ventures. The firm has already collected slightly upwards of $30 million in all.

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