FundamentalVR has created the HapticVR ‘flight simulator’ for surgery, a safe, measurable & globally scalable masterclass environment to refine skills and knowledge. Here is our recent interview with Annabelle Miles, from FundamentalVR:
Q: Can you tell us something more about your vision, the company and what you do?
A: Our vision is clear: to revolutionize medical and surgical training by democratizing it through technology; putting a safe, repeatable and measurable surgical rehearsal capability within arm’s reach of all surgeons on a day-to-day basis. To achieve this ambition, we have made the cost of the system low (about a tenth of traditional simulations systems) and friction-less, one click from the website to enable. To ensure we are able to deliver the highest level of accuracy in our simulations we have built a world renowned global medical panel and partnered with institutions such as the Mayo Clinic in the US, St.Georges in the UK and Sana in Germany.
Q: You’ve recently raised $5m in Series a round; could you tell us something more?
A: The new funding will allow us to further invest in our Fundamental Surgery education platform – the first surgical simulation software system to deploy HapticVR™, which combines VR with cutting-edge haptics (the sense of touch), building out multi-modal education incorporating stand alone VR headsets alongside our HapticVR system. The funding round was led by Downing Ventures, with participation from Epic Private Equity and Brighteyes Ventures. Leading medical institutions also participated in the funding round, including Mayo Clinic, one of America’s leading centres of medical excellence, and Sana Kliniken, one of Europe’s leading medical organisations and the third largest hospital organisation in Germany, which is a strong endorsement of the quality of FundamentalVR’s offering.
Q: Your flagship service is called Fundamental Surgery. What exactly is it?
A: Our technology delivers immersive simulations, underpinned with haptic (sense of touch) interactions. The platform has been tested for face validity with surgeons and has been proven to deliver transferable skills and knowledge from the simulation into real-world practice.
Q: What are the benefits of virtual simulation?
A: Simulation in the medical field is difficult, expensive and often cumbersome involving anything from cadaveric training to plastic mannequins through to one-off bespoke simulators requiring several people to manage and involving heavy CAPEX. The VR solution simplifies and accelerates the learning process. It is more immersive, higher fidelity, closer to the real world and delivers huge amounts of new data. However probably most important is it can be self-proctoring and as a result reduces the need for expensive, time poor surgical experts to travel to conduct training sessions.
Q: What can we expect from FundamentalVR in the future?
A: We have built our platform for scale and already it is present in several countries around the world. Our ambition is to have Fundamental Surgery in every hospital and close to every healthcare professional across the world, providing real-time feedback and assessment of surgical capability to improve patient outcomes. We will continue to invest in our technology and content to broaden out our offer to all surgical disciplines (a process that has already begun) incorporating the best new soft and hardware opportunities, such as new low cost stand-alone VR devices, new haptic devices and mixed reality as well as moving into patient specific modelling to allow for actual rehearsal of a specific patient case before entering the operating room. We are developing new ways to access and interpret surgical performance data through our machine learning which over time will provide the industry with an entirely new data set and benchmarking tool. We know that in less than ten years immersive training of medical and surgical skills will be the norm in developed markets. Our ambition is to ensure that FundamentalVR is a leader in this revolution!
Last Updated on March 3, 2020