FundamentalVR, developers of a virtual reality trainer for surgeons that offers tactile feedback, has raised £4.3 million ($5.5 million) for its platform—in part from the Mayo Clinic, as well as the large German hospital organization, Sana Kliniken.
The company’s series A round was led by Downing Ventures, with additional backing from Brighteyes Ventures, Epic Private Equity and Tern, which counts FundamentalVR as one of its portfolio companies. The round’s proceeds also included a £500,000 convertible loan note conversion.
“The investment will allow us to continue to expand the global deployment of the current platform and develop additional capabilities and technologies,” said FundamentalVR’s co-founder and CEO, Richard Vincent.
Those include expansions into multimodal education programs, as well as the use of new standalone VR headsets such as the Oculus Quest and Vive Focus Plus, Vincent said.
The funding will also help cover “new surgical disciplines such as general surgical procedures and future capabilities such as patient-specific modeling and emerging interfaces for robotic surgery,” he added.
The company’s platform is already in use at both the Mayo Clinic and Sana Kliniken, as well as UCLA and University College Hospital in London, according to the company. It currently offers surgical training modules in orthopedic procedures, including hip and knee replacements, as well as spinal screw operations.
Using force-feedback hardware to provide what FundamentalVR describes as a flight simulator-like experience, the platform reproduces the sense of different tools touching and interacting with different tissues and bone.
The software is designed to work with modern, off-the-shelf PCs or laptops, plus a standard VR headset and two haptic arm devices, while the simulations themselves have been accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
“We identified early on that FundamentalVR’s team was developing a platform that was very special,” said Tern CEO Al Sisto. “[It is] a training and data analysis offering which could revolutionize the skills development of surgical practice while at the same time creating a database of significant importance to the industry.”