Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Jolly Good team-up over VR product development

Jolly Good's immersive SST VR is expected to help patients concentrate better and improve effectiveness.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical - Jolly Good

With the aim of building a regional cooperative mental health platform, Jolly Good and Otsuka Pharmaceutical have signed an agreement for exclusive product joint development and sales in Japan for a social skill training VR (SST VR) business. The deal, worth 5 billion yen, includes a 300 million yen upfront payment from Otsuka Pharmaceutical to Jolly Good, as well as development cost reimbursement and royalties.

Reports have cited the combined use of pharmacotherapy and SST as a psychotherapeutic method that reduces mental disorder recurrence rates, and Jolly Good’s immersive SST VR is expected to help patients concentrate better and improve effectiveness. Dr. Ayako Kanie, a psychiatric specialist and senior medical supervisor, will be content production manager for Jolly Good’s VR business.

Why does it matter?

This agreement, which establishes a partnership between advanced VR video technology maker Jolly Good and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, which has an extensive knowledge, experience base, and network in psychiatry, will facilitate the development of an SST that uses VR for a variety of mental disorders and the creation of new platforms going forward. Jolly Good has already deployed SST VR for developmental disorders at over 200 hospitals, clinics, welfare support centers, and other such facilities across Japan.

Through this business, Jolly Good will provide the necessary VR goggles and tablet devices and will produce SST VR content for a range of scenarios in conjunction with Otsuka Pharmaceutical. Otsuka Pharmaceutical will compensate Jolly Good for sales activities aimed at healthcare facilities and will pay Jolly Good sales-based royalties. This partnership is Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s first business partnership in the mental health industry using VR. The two companies aim to build Japan’s largest VR business in the field of healthcare for mental disorders.

On the record

“The high-precision medical VR system being developed by Jolly Good has been highly regarded in numerous fields in the healthcare industry, including training for medical staff, patient rehabilitation, and social rehabilitation training for those with disabilities or mental disorders,” Said Kensuke Joji, CEO of Jolly Good. “This partnership will see the convergence of Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s extensive experience and sales network, enabling the enhancement and expansion of our SST VR. It gives me a great sense of joy and mission that we will be working with regional cooperative platforms nationwide to support the social rehabilitation of people suffering from mental disorders. Through this partnership, Jolly Good will develop a social contribution platform powered by VR technology while further expanding its business.”

“Otsuka Pharmaceutical conducts its global pharmaceuticals business to address mental and neurological disorders, a key focus for the company. In recent years, technological advancements have seen a growing importance placed not just on medications but also on support for daily living, which includes everything from prevention to caregiving,” added Makoto Inoue, President and Representative Director, Otsuka Pharmaceutical. “Along with putting to use digital technologies that will go into the creation of a new business model, we will work with Jolly Good, which supports healthcare via state-of-the-art VR video technologies, to build a platform for facilitating social rehabilitation among those suffering from mental or neurological disorders.

The context

The use of extended reality (XR) technologies — including VR — has been growing in healthcare and is poised to keep that trajectory in the years to come. If you want to learn about this technology, the main players and technologies – you may want to check out our report “XR in Healthcare.” It has more than 200 pages and should provide you with an excellent overview of this market. Check it out.