UK-based immersive technology company FourPlus announced that it has received funding from the UK’s national innovation agency, called Innovate UK, to create a mixed reality training platform for pharmaceutical companies and the healthcare sector.
FourPlus’ immersive technology, including its virtual reality experiences, is used in the life sciences sector for human resource management, 3D asset visualization for marketing and training purposes, plant visualization, laboratory training for life science students, and data visualization.
With an investment of ₤1M (US$1.28M), largely funded by Innovate UK, FourPlus and its collaborators will develop Holosphere and Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, a mixed reality experience with multiplayer capabilities, to train individuals in manufacturing roles within cells and gene therapy, as well as in the biopharmaceutical and broader life sciences arena.
The platform will also help train staff, store digital training records, integrate data analysis tools and enable collaboration between trainers and trainees in virtual environments.
Mixed Reality (MR) is an immersive computer-generated environment that connects the physical and digital worlds and allows physical and digital elements to interact.
FourPlus will build and deploy the platform over the course of 18 months, and the first version of the offering will be available for demonstration by the end of 2023.
“We are very excited to launch this innovative project with Holosphere and Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. We already know that VR is an effective way to support the training of new industry employees as it reduces cost, time, facility usage and waste production.” “This project will deliver the next-generation solution that combines mixed reality, training customization, multi-user interactivity , data analysis and training support functions integrated,” said Dr. Ivan Wall, CEO of Four Plus, in a statement.
THE BIGGER TREND
Augmented reality (i.e. virtual, augmented and mixed reality) is increasingly used in healthcare.
Based in Germany in December apoQlar announced that it has received FDA 510(k) clearance for its VSI HoloMedicine platform, a mixed reality offering that helps surgeons plan procedures using 3D holographic technology.
Last month, augmented reality platform Augmedics received $82.5 million in Series D funding to help grow its offerings, including its xvision Spine System, which uses augmented reality to provide surgeons with a 3D image of a patient’s spinal anatomy during surgery to deliver directly in their line of sight.
Other immersive technology companies include California-based virtual reality therapy company AppliedVR, virtual reality surgical training and assessment platform, Osso VR, senior-focused digital virtual reality therapy company MyndVR, Boston-based virtual reality platform XRHealth, and virtual and augmented reality mental health platform Healium.