UK-based immersive technology company FourPlus announced it garnered funding from the UK’s national innovation agency, dubbed Innovate UK, to create a mixed reality training platform for pharma companies and the healthcare sector.
FourPlus’ immersive technology, including its virtual reality experiences, is used within the life sciences sector for workforce management, 3D asset visualization for marketing and training purposes, facility visualization, laboratory training for bioscience students and data visualization.
Utilizing a ₤1 million ($1.28 million) investment, a majority of which came from Innovate UK, FourPlus and its collaborators Holosphere and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, will develop a mixed reality experience with multiplayer capabilities to train individuals in manufacturing roles within cell and gene therapy and in biopharmaceutical and broader life sciences sectors.
The platform will also help train staff, store digital training records, include data analytics tools and allow for trainer/trainee collaboration within virtual environments.
Mixed reality (MR) is an immersive computer-generated environment that combines the physical and digital worlds and allows physical and digital elements to interact.
FourPlus will create and deliver the platform over the course of 18 months, and the first release of the offering will be available for demonstration by the end of 2023.
“We are really excited to be starting this innovative project with Holosphere and Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. We already know that VR is a powerful way to support training of new sector employees, as it reduces cost, time, facility use and waste production. This project will deliver the next-generation solution that integrates mixed reality, training customization, multi-user interactivity, data analytics and training support features,” Dr. Ivan Wall, CEO of Four Plus, said in a statement.
THE LARGER TREND
Extended reality (i.e., virtual, augmented, and mixed reality) is increasingly being used within healthcare.
In December, German-based apoQlar announced it received FDA 510(k) clearance for its VSI HoloMedicine platform, a mixed reality offering that helps surgeons plan for procedures using 3D holographic technology.
Last month, augmented reality platform Augmedics scored $82.5 million in Series D funding to support the growth of its offerings, including its xvision Spine System, which utilizes augmented reality to give surgeons a 3D image of a patient’s spinal anatomy directly in their line of sight during surgery.
Other immersive technology companies include California-based virtual reality therapeutic company AppliedVR, virtual reality surgical training and assessment platform Osso VR, senior-focused virtual reality digital therapeutic company MyndVR, Boston-based virtual reality platform XRHealth and virtual and augmented reality mental health platform Healium.