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Discover how 21 innovative companies are revolutionizing healthcare with immersive technologies (VR, AR, and MR).

Healing in a New Reality: 21 Companies Harnessing Immersive Technologies for Healthcare

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2K views Discover how 21 innovative companies are revolutionizing healthcare with immersive technologies (VR, AR, and MR).

The healthcare industry has seen remarkable advancements in recent years, and one of the most exciting frontiers of innovation is the integration of immersive technologies, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). These technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way medical professionals train, diagnose, and treat patients, offering a new dimension of possibilities.

Let’s first understand Immersive Technology, that for a lot of people it is still hard to grasp the idea of a virtual or augmented reality environment.

What is Immersive Technology?

Immersive technology is a broad term that encompasses virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). These technologies create simulated environments that engage the senses, making the user feel like they are physically present in a computer-generated world. Let’s break down the three main types:

  1. Virtual Reality (VR): VR immerses users in a fully digital environment, often using a headset to completely block out the physical world. It’s particularly useful for creating realistic training simulations, therapeutic environments, and immersive gaming experiences.
  2. Augmented Reality (AR): AR overlays digital information onto the real world, typically viewed through a smartphone or AR glasses. In healthcare, AR can provide real-time data, enhancing surgical procedures, medical imaging, and patient education.
  3. Mixed Reality (MR): MR combines elements of both VR and AR, allowing users to interact with both the physical and digital worlds simultaneously. This technology is still evolving but holds immense potential in medical training and telemedicine.

What is The Role of Immersive Technology in Healthcare and how is used today?

The question at hand explores this fascinating intersection of healthcare and technology. It delves into the transformative role that immersive technology plays in modern healthcare and how it is being utilized to improve patient outcomes, enhance medical training, and revolutionize therapeutic techniques.

From virtual surgeries that provide unprecedented training opportunities for budding surgeons, to AR applications that assist in complex procedures by overlaying crucial patient data onto the real world, immersive technology is reshaping the contours of medical practice. It also ventures into the realm of patient care and therapy, where VR experiences can help manage pain, aid in physical rehabilitation, or even treat psychological disorders like PTSD.

Here are some key applications:

  • Medical Training and Education: Immersive technologies are revolutionizing medical education. Companies like Embodied Labs, FundamentalVR, and Health Scholars provide immersive training experiences for healthcare professionals. Whether it’s simulating complex surgical procedures or teaching empathy through patient experiences, these platforms offer invaluable learning tools.
  • Surgical Planning and Navigation: Precision is paramount in surgery. Augmedics and Pixee Medical use AR and VR to assist surgeons in planning and executing procedures. They provide 3D reconstructions of patient anatomy and real-time guidance during surgeries, reducing the risk and improving outcomes.
  • Telemedicine: Telemedicine platforms like Surgical Theater and HypnoVR leverage VR to connect patients with their healthcare providers, offering remote consultations and therapeutic interventions. These technologies bridge geographical gaps, ensuring patients have access to the care they need.
  • Pain Management and Therapy: Immersive technologies are being used to manage pain and support therapy. AppliedVR and BehaVR develop VR solutions to alleviate chronic pain, reduce anxiety, and assist in mental health treatment.
  • Patient Engagement and Education: BioDigital and BioflightVR create interactive patient education tools using immersive technologies. Patients can better understand their conditions, treatment options, and anatomy, leading to improved health literacy.
  • Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy: Floreo and GigXR offer VR experiences for physical therapy and neurorehabilitation. These immersive exercises can help patients regain mobility and improve their quality of life.

What are some barriers to using immersive technologies in the healthcare industry?

While the potential benefits of immersive technologies in healthcare are vast, there are several challenges and barriers that companies in this space must navigate. Some of these include:

  • Regulatory Hurdles: The healthcare industry is heavily regulated and ensuring that immersive technologies comply with existing regulations is a complex and time-consuming process.
  • High Costs: Developing and implementing immersive solutions can be expensive, which may limit access for smaller healthcare institutions and underserved communities.
  • Data Privacy and Security: The collection of patient data in virtual environments raises concerns about privacy and security. Companies need to ensure that data is protected and used responsibly.
  • Limited Adoption: Convincing healthcare professionals to adopt these new technologies can be a challenge. Training and integration into existing healthcare systems take time.
  • Technical Challenges: Immersive technology is still evolving, and there are technical challenges such as motion sickness and hardware limitations that need to be addressed.
Discover how 21 innovative companies are revolutionizing healthcare with immersive technologies (VR, AR, and MR).

We want to shine a light on 21 innovative companies that are at the forefront of this transformative movement.

1.

Anatomage

Anatomage is a leading medical virtualization technology company that designs, manufactures, and markets medical and educational tools for anatomists. The company’s offerings include image-guided surgical devices, surgical instruments, radiology software, imaging equipment, and display equipment.

The Anatomage Table and the tablet version offer quick access to 3D anatomy for students in medical schools, nursing schools, and undergraduate science programs. Instead of using scalpels and saws to dissect cadavers, students simply tap the screens to remove structures such as bones, organs, and blood vessels to see what’s underneath.

They also offers a 3D simulation of actual human bodies through a virtual reality headset. This enables users to navigate, explore and comprehensively visualize anatomical structures, systems, and pathologies with the highest anatomical accuracy.

2.

apoQlar

apoQlar is a pioneering company in the field of medical mixed reality. Founded in 2017 and based in Hamburg, Germany, apoQlar is revolutionizing the way medicine is practiced, experienced, learned, and shared globally. The company has developed a medical mixed reality platform known as VSI HoloMedicine®. This platform leverages the Microsoft HoloLens hardware to transform medical images, clinical workflows, and medical education into an interactive 3D mixed-reality environment.

This innovative approach is enhancing surgical planning, remote consultation, patient education, and medical training. apoQlar’s groundbreaking work is not only improving patient outcomes but also augmenting the clinical experience for physicians.

3.

AppliedVR

AppliedVR is a leading company in the field of digital therapeutics, specializing in virtual reality-based treatments. The company, founded in 2015 and headquartered in Van Nuys, California, is transforming healthcare through the power of pixels. AppliedVR’s mission is to empower patients with the tools to live life beyond chronic pain. Their scientifically designed and validated digital health solutions have been delivered to over 20,000 patients in more than 250 hospitals and in 8 countries globally.

The company’s primary product, EaseVRx, is the first VR-based prescription therapeutic to receive Breakthrough Device designation from the FDA. AppliedVR continues to pioneer the use of VR technology to address the complexity of chronic pain.

4.

ARSPECTRA

ARSPECTRA is a medical technology company that specializes in the design of innovative augmented reality solutions for the healthcare market. Founded in the summer of 2018, ARSPECTRA has been at the forefront of research on the technical integration and clinical advantages of Augmented Reality in combination with novel diagnostic technologies. The company has developed unique proprietary technologies and platforms in the field of Augmented and Mixed Reality for a wide variety of medical applications.

ARSPECTRA’s mission is to improve the success rates of medical procedures by developing novel AR-based medical tools and solutions. The company aims to revolutionize the performances of healthcare professionals by providing more advanced guidance solutions and improved patient outcomes.

5.

Augmedics

Augmedics is a pioneer in the field of augmented reality surgical image guidance. The company, based in Chicago, Illinois, aims to improve healthcare by augmenting surgery with cutting-edge technologies that address unmet clinical needs and instill technological confidence in the surgical workflow. Augmedics is known for developing the xvision Spine System, a wireless device that allows surgeons to see a patient’s anatomy as if they had “x-ray vision”, enabling them to navigate instruments and implants during spine procedures.

The system has been used to treat over 4,500 patients and implant more than 25,000 pedicle screws across 21 US states. The company’s innovative approach has earned it numerous honors, including being named a 2021 Index Awards Finalist, a Fast Company World Changing Ideas Awards 2021 Finalist, and one of Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2020.

6.

Avatar Medical

Avatar Medical is a Paris-based company that is revolutionizing the field of surgical planning with its innovative virtual reality medical platform. Founded in 2020, the company’s technology creates interactive 3-dimensional representations of patients based on their medical images in an immersive virtual reality context. This provides an accurate and instantaneous means for clinicians to understand their patient’s medical images, thereby enhancing surgical preparation.

Avatar Medical’s platform has been adopted by more than 100 surgeons from 20 different hospitals and universities, leading to six medical publications. The company’s groundbreaking work has earned it recognition as a multi-award-winning spin-off of the Institut Pasteur and Institut Curie.

7.

BehaVR

BehaVR is a leading company in the field of digital therapeutics, specializing in the use of Virtual Reality (VR) for behavioral health. Founded in 2016 and based in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, BehaVR focuses on the intersection of behavioral health and chronic disease. The company’s digital therapeutics and wellness programs are built on a protocol combined with a gamified experience that empowers people with lifelong coping skills and resources to manage stress, anxiety, and fear.

This approach enables individuals to take control over their own health, generating value, change, and better clinical outcomes for all stakeholders in the healthcare system. As of 2023, BehaVR has 54 employees and has raised $13M in its latest Series B funding round.

8.

BioDigital

BioDigital is a biomedical visualization company based in New York that is often referred to as the “Google Earth for the Human Body”. The company offers an interactive, 3D software platform that enables individuals and businesses to explore and visualize health information. Founded on the premise that 3D technology could transform the understanding of health and medicine, BioDigital has applied state-of-the-art 3D to healthcare, similar to its impact on gaming and Hollywood.

The company’s platform, composed of over 8,000 individually selectable anatomical structures and 600 simulated health conditions, is used at top medical schools and education companies, equipping tomorrow’s clinicians with the training they need to reduce medical errors. Today, over 100 million health conversations across the globe are powered by BioDigital’s visualization technology each year.

9.

BioflightVR

BioflightVR is a medical training company based in Los Angeles and Ohio that is dedicated to advancing immersive medical platforms. The company’s core design group, composed of passionate doctors, content developers, and programmers, has won Emmy awards and Visual Effects Society awards for their pioneering computer graphics work on popular television shows CSI and ER.

BioflightVR offers virtual reality (VR) training for a variety of medical procedures, and its programs are currently used by hospitals, universities, and medical device companies. The company’s commitment to revolutionizing the way technology changes and saves lives has positioned it as a leader in the field of VR medical training.

10.

EchoPixel

EchoPixel is a medical technology company that specializes in the development of medical imaging devices. The company, founded in 2012 and based in Santa Clara, California, has developed a non-invasive colon cancer screening solution that enables doctors and radiologists to use computed tomography (CT) images of a patient’s abdomen and display a 3D model of a patient’s colon. EchoPixel’s technology offers an intuitive and interactive virtual reality format to communicate with patient-specific organs and tissue in an open three-dimensional (3D) space emanating from a display, enabling doctors and physicians to immediately identify, evaluate, and dissect clinically significant structures.

This state-of-the-art technology is used by world-leading hospitals and has received FDA 510k clearance. EchoPixel is committed to the development of technology that transforms the delivery of patient care and enables precision health.

11.

Embodied Labs

Embodied Labs is a Los Angeles-based company that has established itself as a leader in the field of immersive learning platforms. Founded in 2016, the company’s primary focus is on improving outcomes in training, awareness, and support for both family and professional caregivers. Embodied Labs aims to bring about transformational cultural change in long-term care, home health, government, non-profit, and academic organizations by altering the way caregivers view and understand their roles.

The company’s immersive training platform is used extensively in home care, senior living, hospice, medical and nursing schools, hospitals, and employers interested in educating HR departments to better support their caregiving employees. As of 2023, Embodied Labs has raised $3.2M in seed funding.

12.

Floreo

Floreo is a Washington, D.C.-based company that is revolutionizing the field of behavioral therapy with its innovative virtual reality platform. Founded in 2016, Floreo’s platform offers a range of VR-based lessons that teach social, behavioral, communication, and independent living skills to individuals with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), social anxiety, and other conditions.

The company’s trailblazing work in digital therapeutic reimbursement has led to it being the first VR behavioral health company with an approved CPT 3 reimbursement code. As of 2023, Floreo has raised $12.1M in funding and is used by over 100 therapy clinic businesses and school districts.

13.

FundamentalVR

FundamentalVR is a London-based company that provides training, simulation, and education services using virtual and mixed reality. Founded in 2012, the company’s Haptic Intelligence Engine delivers high-fidelity physical interaction to its users. It serves clients operating in the medical and communications market. FundamentalVR’s innovative technology delivers VR haptic ‘flight simulators’ for surgery, creating a safe, measurable, and repeatable space to refine skills. This technology is used to help educate and train healthcare professionals.

The company works at the nexus of haptics, machine learning, and immersive technologies (XR), and has been recognized for its contributions to the medical field.
The company’s trailblazing work in digital therapeutic reimbursement has led to it being the first VR behavioral health company with an approved CPT 3 reimbursement code. As of 2023, Floreo has raised $12.1M in funding and is used by over 100 therapy clinic businesses and school districts.

14.

Ghost Productions

Ghost Productions is a leading provider of medical animation, illustration, surgical VR, web design, social media campaigns, eLearning content, and other services that help clients in the medical industry train, educate, and market their products. The company is known for creating 3D medical animation and VR surgery simulations to market medical products and surgical devices. Ghost Productions’ innovative work is used by a wide range of clients in the medical industry, from hospitals to universities to medical device companies.

15.

GigXR

GigXR is a provider of reality learning systems for instructor-led teaching and training. Founded in 2019 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the company enhances learning outcomes for medical and nursing schools, hospitals, higher education, and the Department of Defense. GigXR has harnessed a proven track record for recognizing key problems in education and training, and unlocking the potential of extended reality (XR) in simulation technologies to solve them. The company’s platform offers a library of holographic applications that span the full spectrum of healthcare training.

These immersive applications can replace or augment the use of cadavers, manikins, and simulated patients – or allow teaching in ways not possible with analog methods.

16.

Health Scholars

Health Scholars is a leading provider of virtual reality clinical training for healthcare professionals. The company’s platform offers highly immersive virtual reality training that prepares frontline clinicians for real-world situations. Health Scholars’ training solutions are designed to ensure every nurse and clinician can confidently handle each critical situation, thereby enhancing patient safety and outcomes. The company’s platform also includes the Health Scholars Workbench, a content-building platform for VR training in healthcare that combines clinical education expertise with a nimble framework.

This allows users to build, manage, and launch courses. Health Scholars’ VR Healthcare Training is available anytime, anywhere, providing a private, judgment-free zone where clinicians can gain the experience needed for effectively responding when real situations occur.

17.

HypnoVR

HypnoVR is a Strasbourg, France-based company that specializes in the development of virtual reality software for anesthesia, treatment of pain, and anxiety. Founded in 2016, HypnoVR has developed a unique platform that combines the benefits of medical hypnosis with virtual reality. The company’s technology is designed to reduce patient stress and anxiety, providing a personalized multi-sensory experience for patients.

HypnoVR’s platform is used by more than 300 healthcare institutions and has been validated by a large number of clinical studies. The company’s mission is to improve the quality of care by reducing patients’ pain and stress through a unique experience of therapeutic multisensory immersion.

18.

Ilumis

Ilumis is a company that specializes in the development of augmented reality solutions for medical education. The company was launched by Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) to accelerate product innovation, improve partner service, and rapidly scale the potential of its revolutionary learning platform, HoloAnatomy® Software Suite. This suite uses advanced mixed-reality technology to illuminate the human body in three dimensions through the Microsoft HoloLens headset.

Based on more than a dozen pilot studies, medical students learned anatomical content twice as fast compared to cadaver dissection, retaining information 44% better when tested eight months later. Ilumis aims to extend these applications to students around the world, forever changing the way students learn the fundamentals of human anatomy.

19.

Pixee Medical

Pixee Medical is a leading provider of computer-assisted surgical solutions for orthopedic surgery. The company was founded in October 2017 with the goal of creating high-performance surgical solutions using advanced computer vision and artificial intelligence technologies. Pixee Medical’s innovative tracking tool allows a simple camera installed in a smartphone or smart glasses to locate objects in a 3D space with millimetric precision.

This technology is used to perform orthopedic surgery while remaining affordable amid the challenging health system environment. The company’s mission is to improve the success rates of medical procedures by developing novel AR-based medical tools and solutions.

20.

PrecisionOS Technology

PrecisionOS Technology is a leading provider of virtual reality orthopedic surgical education and pre-operative planning software. The company was founded in 2017 by a team of clinical orthopedic surgeons and game developers with the mission to improve the expertise of practicing surgeons. PrecisionOS’s platform provides orthopedic surgical education in virtual reality, allowing surgeons to perform simulated medical procedures in a realistic digital operating room or a remote location.

The company’s technology is adaptable to all surgical modalities used in orthopedics including open surgery, arthroscopy, and robotic surgery. As of 2023, PrecisionOS has 54 employees and is actively used by leading medical institutions.

21.

Surgical Theater

Surgical Theater is a global leader in Extended Reality (XR) healthcare services. The company is dedicated to transforming the surgical experience for both patients and healthcare professionals. Their innovative technology provides patient-specific 360°-3D visualization that enhances surgical procedures. Surgical Theater’s mission is to recreate complex images for patients and healthcare professionals who want to explore the potential of surgical VR.

The company’s platform is a three-dimensional surgical theater system that integrates patient-specific surgical planning and navigation, creating an engaging experience by offering education and surgical collaboration. This enables surgeons to perform a real-life flight simulation before the actual operation.

The integration of immersive technologies is set to redefine healthcare, making it more efficient, effective, and patient-centric. These technologies will not replace the human touch in medicine but will empower healthcare professionals and patients with tools and experiences that were previously unimaginable. As the technology continues to evolve, we can look forward to a healthcare landscape that is more personalized, connected, and ultimately, healthier for all.

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