Virtual reality didn’t evolve into the ultimate desktop replacement telepresence machine during the pandemic – and it wasn’t for lack of trying – but some startups focused on training employees in virtual reality have found a way. additional validation in the last year, as professionals from all sectors have been forced to access institutional knowledge in remote contexts.
Osso VR, a San Francisco-based virtual reality startup focused on medical education, caught the attention of investors as they bolstered partnerships with medical device powerhouses like Johnson & Johnson, Stryker and Smith & Nephew during the pandemic. The startup told TechCrunch that it recently closed a $ 27 million Series B funding led by GSR Ventures with additional participation from SignalFire, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and Anorak Ventures, among others.
CEO Justin Barad told TechCrunch that the pandemic “has created an intense level of urgency” for the startup as customers find new demand for their platform.
Osso VR seeks to revolutionize modern surgical education with a virtual reality-based solution that allows surgeons to interact with new medical devices in 3D space, ‘performing’ surgery over and over again on a digital cadaver in the comfort of anywhere they have enough room. to extend the arms. Osso’s efforts are particularly helpful to its medical device customers who can use the platform to familiarize themselves with their solutions while helping surgeons gain control over their implantation.
One of the startup’s broader goals is to bring the multiplayer mechanics of video games into the virtual operating room, allowing surgeons and medical assistants to collaborate in real time so they not only know their responsibility, but how they fit into the whole of each operation.
“It’s like a symphony, everyone has a different role to play and you have to communicate with each other.” said Barad.
It’s a process that needs the spatial expanse of virtual reality, notes Barad, though instruction is always supplemented with text and videos.
Barad describes the startup’s goal as “something unambiguous,” a quality that has helped the team recruit talent as it now has around 100 employees, which includes what it claims to be. the largest team of medical illustrators in the world. This team has helped evolve the content of the platform to more than 100 modules covering 10 specialties.
The founders of virtual reality have struggled in recent years to catch the attention of investors, as adoption by consumers and businesses has proven to be slower than the tech’s crazy early ambitions. In its place, investors have turned more to betting on adjacent technologies such as gaming and computer vision that do not require specialized head-worn hardware. The Osso VR platform runs on Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 headset through the company’s Oculus for Business program.