Health Scholars raises $17m in funding to continue research for VR tech in healthcare

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VR-enabled clinical training firm Health Scholars has successfully completed its series B funding round to the tune of $17 million (£13.1m), which will be used by the company to continue its R&D in new virtual technologies in hospital and public safety market.

The fundraising round was participated by Arboretum Ventures, Venture Investors, Capital Midwest Fund, OSF HealthCare. The raised funds will majorly help Health Scholars to expand its VR content library and further develop the virtual learning platform to facilitate enterprise scale deployments and analytics, grow the go-to-market resources, and strengthen its IP base.

“Closing our series B financing is a huge vote of confidence from both the market and investor community of Health Scholars’ strategy and value,” said Health Scholars CEO Cole Sandau in a statement. “Having $17 million in new capital to expand our focus on patient safety and quality issues will provide our customers with truly transformative training and virtual simulation technologies that will drive improved patient outcomes.”

Earlier this month, the UCI School of Medicine collaborated with Chenega Healthcare Services and MedCognition to examine the psychological effects of AR medical simulation training. Their combined study titled, Assessment of the Psychological and Physiological Effects of Augmented Reality, which has been provided with a $1.2m fund by the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium, focuses on whether pre-existing psychological traits or past stress experiences influence the AR medical training experience and moderate the emotional responses to the simulation.

Recently, a study conducted by the Oregon State University (OSU) tried to assess some common movements in VR that may contribute to muscle strain and discomfort. The aim of the study was to ensure that users, who are not just into gaming, but also into education and industrial training, are safe. Jay Kim, of OSU’S College of Public Health and Human Sciences, said: “There are no standards and guidelines for virtual and augmented reality interactions. We wanted to evaluate the effects of the target distances, locations, and sizes so we can better design these interfaces to reduce the risk for potential musculoskeletal injuries.”

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