Osso VR gets $2 million to train surgeons in virtual operating rooms

By Jonah Comstock
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Osso VR, a startup looking to disrupt the surgical device training space with virtual reality, has raised $2 million in seed funding in a round led by Signalfire, with participation from Anorak Ventures. 

The company provides software that creates a virtual operating room on VR platforms like Oculus Rift/Touch or the HTC Vive. Practicing surgeries in virtual reality allows surgeons to get in more reps, particularly on complicated procedures. 

"Right now the way they’re doing it is people have these devices in their trunks, you can only fit like one in and they drive around with hundreds of dollars in disposable, simulated bones to allow people to practice one procedure once," founder and CEO (and trained orthopedic surgeon) Dr. Justin Barad said last year in a presentation at Health 2.0. "I’ve done surgeries where I just sat there reading the instruction manual like we were putting together IKEA furniture because people don’t have a training option that’s something like this. So I really hope this is the future of medical training to increase patient safety, decrease complications, and increase the learning curve for complex medical devices."

In addition to training seasoned surgeons on new or uncommon surgeries, the technology can also be used in more basic instruction for medical students. And the program doesn't just simulate surgery. It also captures data on things like procedure time and precision that can be used as learning feedback for surgeons. 

"Osso VR's vision is to improve patient safety and outcomes by addressing the critical training issues facing the modern surgeon," Barad said in a statement. "Today, busy healthcare providers' time is dominated by electronic medical record systems and patientcare, leaving them little room to even see their families. Travelling to a distant training course for new medical technology is becoming less feasible and less effective. Osso VR brings these courses to the surgeon, giving them an on-demand, hands-on way to train with new medical technology allowing them to bring the safest and most effective procedures to their patients."

Osso's team is a mix of VR developers with games backgrounds and people with a clinical background in surgery or medical device sales. In addition to Barad, the Osso team includes veteran game developer Matt Newport as CTO and Lief Goranson, who previously worked on surgical training games at Medtronic.