Innovative medtech startups Sentiar, Augmedics, Future World Studios and Marion Surgical are making big moves, raising capital, and catching interest from major strategics.
The last decade has seen a plethora of new technologies initially developed for other industries successfully transition into the healthcare industry. Artificial intelligence, 3D printing, wearable devices, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) are all being explored as next-generation healthcare solutions. Despite being a relatively new market, estimates suggest that AR/VR is already a billion dollar healthcare market that is expected to rapidly grow in the next half-decade. Potential applications for AR and VR in the healthcare industry continue to expand, with companies finding success utilizing these technologies in educational and therapeutic applications.
AR and VR offer different experiences to their users. AR incorporates digital elements into the user’s current field-of-view, providing additional information in real-time to the user. In contrast, VR is an immersive experience that is similar to watching a movie that shuts out the physical world.
A few of the companies developing AR and VR solutions are listed below.
Using a holographic headset Sentiar’s technology provides clinicians with real-time catheter/mapping information to improve surgical accuracy and decrease procedure times. The company’s SentiAR platform converts the patient’s anatomy into a hands-free visualization for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.
Augmedics’ xvision platform is currently being developed to improve clinical outcomes of spinal surgery. The xvision is compatible with many of the leading imaging systems, automatically registering patient data within a few seconds. With real-time anatomical visualization surgeons are able to identify the safest routes in complex surgical procedures, providing surgeons with an invaluable workflow solution to achieve better outcomes during spinal surgery.
Complex surgeries require surgeons to perform a certain number of procedures each year in order to remain qualified to perform the procedure. Marion Surgical is developing a VR surgical simulator which could help train new surgeons and help experienced surgeons maintain proficiency through its simulation technology. The company’s initial foray into the VR surgical simulator market allows surgeons to perform percutaneous procedures on the kidney that incorporates fluoroscopy, haptic feedback, and tool and guidewire manipulation, among other features, for lifelike procedural training.
Future World Studios is a healthcare VR company that is focused on developing VR-based solutions for patients and physicians. Patient-focused solutions from the company are designed to educate patients about complex procedures to help ease pre-procedural anxiety by guiding patients through their procedure and then supporting them through the post-procedure recovery process. The company is simultaneously committed to the development of VR training applications for surgeons that help surgeons learn new procedures and even connect surgeons with experienced surgical specialists.
It is an exciting time to be a developer in the digital health frontier. AR and VR technologies are well suited for use in the healthcare industry - whether it be for education or therapy, innovative applications of AR/VR in healthcare can provide patients and healthcare providers with novel solutions.
In February 2020, these companies and 94 other venture funded medtech startups will gather at the Emerging Medtech Summit to share their investment and strategic partnering needs with an audience of active investors and strategic buyers (companies like Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Abbott, among others).
Come learn more from the pioneers of AR and VR healthcare solutions, as well as many other medtech innovators at the Emerging Medtech Summit.