There have been many ongoing stories throughout the year for both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), we mentioned just some of these earlier this week in a news post relating to how VR and AR are gaining momentum in academic circles, and how companies are using these new courses as a way to help gauge their own future on the platforms.
Another common thread throughout 2017 has been the continued development of VR, AR and mixed reality (MR) within the world of healthcare. As well as seeing how things continue to develop thanks to Dr. Raphael Olaiya’s ongoing feature series The VR Doctor on VRFocus, late last month we featured a story about how surgeons from three different continents had combined on a procedure using Microsoft’s Hololens headset.
Now another company developing a similar technology has revealed a new influx of funding as they look to take the next step in bringing the two fields mentioned above, healthcare and education, together.
At the beginning of the year London based start-up Touch Surgery, which also operated out of New York, revealed they were working on a new AR platform in partnership with smart glasses manufacturer DAQRI. (DAQRI itself recently revealed its latest line of smart glasses were shipping to customers.) Now they have revealed a new line in funding in part from 8VC, an American venture capital company whose founders also invested in Oculus before it was bought by Facebook back in 2014. The investment of £15 Million (GBP) doubles its funding to date and sees it well placed going into 2018 which will also see it launch a new training app called Go Surgery which will give medical trainees a step-by-step guide to various procedures using AR.The app is set to undergo trials in facilities on either side of the Atlantic next year.
“We found that tens of thousands of people were downloading the app. We started out trying to build a technology that we would use. We wanted to know how we could train and perform surgery better.” Explained Dr. Jean Nehme, the co-founder of Touch Surgery to the UK’s The Telegraph newspaper. “It is early days for this technology but we are very bullish on how augmented reality and virtual reality are going to be key technologies in the operating room of the future.”
Touch Surgery was recently announced as one of LinkedIn’s top UK start-up companies for 2017 and was also named by FirstCapital’s Hazel Moore as one of the UK’s top five British VR/AR companies in an article on VRFocus earlier this year. VRFocus will have more news on the developments in the medtech space very soon.