FundamentalVR adds a group learning feature to its VR platform

Called Teaching Space, the new feature allows multiple users to visit the same virtual classroom for both lessons and meetings.

Fundamental Surgery - Multiuser

Earlier this year, FundamentalVR announced multi-user capability to enable unlimited users to practice, learn, and teach together inside an operating room (OR). Now it’s making it even better with “Teaching Space,” a new feature to allow multiple users to visit the same virtual classroom for both lessons and meetings. It includes support for an interactive whiteboard, discussions of a procedure before attempting it in the virtual OR, or debrief after practicing a skillset.

The new capability is available to current Fundamental Surgery customers at no additional cost.

Why it matters?

Teaching Space makes it easier to educate future surgeons in the time of the coronavirus pandemic. Without having to leave their home, multiple students can immerse themselves into the procedure they would hopefully be performing themselves in the years to come.

While in the virtual space, they [students] get to benefit from Q&A sessions and one-on-one training without the need to travel.

Teaching Space is compatible across both of Fundamental Surgery’s accredited modalities: HapticVR and @HomeVR. The former enables true skills acquisition by allowing surgeons to experience the same sights, sounds and feelings they would in a real procedure using off-the-shelf hardware, making it less than a tenth of the cost of current learning practices.

On the other hand, @HomeVR brings Fundamental Surgery’s simulations to standalone VR headsets such as Oculus Quest and HTC Vive Focus Plus.

On the record

“In our new Teaching Space, I can simply pick up a pen and draw out concepts on a whiteboard and allow trainees to annotate and write comments, all in real-time, whilst talking as if we were in the same room,” Peter Rainger, chief learning officer at FundamentalVR, said in a statement. “The possibilities for this new flexible teaching space in the future are endless.”

Adding to this sentiment was the company’s CEO Richard Vincent, who said: “With most classes currently being conducted remotely, it is a much-needed resource right now. Long-term, we believe Teaching Space to be a feature users will continue to benefit from whenever they need to meet for quick lessons or review procedures at a moment’s notice.”

The context

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the use of extended reality technology in healthcare was deemed “hot,” — with FundamentalVR securing a $5.67 million Series A in October 2019.

Other companies in the same space include Osso VR, which technology has been embraced by the likes of the UK’s Newcastle Surgical Training Centre; Oxford Medical Stimulation (OMS) which is being used at Oxford University; and British startup Touch Surgery, which reportedly borrowed $70 million earlier this year to fund its training AR technology for doctors.