Level Ex finds new backing for its specialist-training mobile games

By Dave Muoio
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Chicago-based Level Ex has received an undisclosed investment from OSF Ventures, the investment arm of Peoria, Illinois-based 13-hospital system OSF HealthCare.

According to a statement, the investor hopes to take advantage of mobile video game maker’s background in delivering digital clinical expertise and identify business opportunities for the two parties. Of note, the announcement suggests that Level Ex’s products could be implemented within the hospital system through OSF Innovation’s Jump Simulation program, which is investigating health education technology.

“The genius of the Level Ex platform is its ability to offer a diverse learning experience with the engagement of a truly addicting game,” Dr. John Vozenilek, vice president and chief medical officer for simulation at Jump, said in a statement. “It’s my belief that those who have had the opportunity to run through medical procedures on a mobile device realize the benefit of an on-demand, high-quality simulation that can be consumed at their own pace.”

Level Ex develops video games that act as training simulators for medical specialists and are created using real footage of surgeries. The company’s first app, Airway Ex, launched in 2016 for iOS and Android, and allowed anesthesiologists, otolaryngologists, critical care specialists, emergency room physicians, and pulmonologists to perform several different surgical procedures on a virtual airway with realistic feedback for correct or incorrect actions. Its second mobile app, Gastro Ex, gives gastroenterologists experience performing virtual endoscopies and other interventional procedures.

Level Ex’s games score clinicians based on their accuracy, speed, and damage caused to the virtual patient to improve their skills. Practitioners can also earn CME credits directly through the apps.

“We’re excited to have our mobile apps in the hands of health care professionals at OSF. Through Level Ex’s video games, we can bring to life challenging patient cases and distribute them to clinicians at OSF, who can try different approaches and compete for the best outcome right from their phones,” Sam Glassenberg, founder and CEO of Level Ex, said in a statement. “The health care system’s innovative approach to medical training makes OSF an ideal partner to support our expansion and growth.”

Previously, Level Ex brought in $11 million back in October during a financing round led by 4490 Ventures. According to the most recent announcement, the company is continuing to expand its mobile apps, virtual reality, and augmented reality education products to new specialties such as pulmonology and cardiology. So far, the company reports that more than 200,000 US health care professionals have registered as users.

“There is alignment with what the teams at Jump and Level Ex are doing in regards to transforming how medical education and training is delivered,” Dr. Garrett Vygantas, managing director of OSF Ventures, said in a statement. “We see an opportunity for collaboration to create new content that can be utilized by physicians at OSF and the larger medical community.”

Vygantas will also be joining Level Ex’s board of directors as an observer, according to the statement.