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5 ways to use Oculus Rift other than gaming

Nyshka Chandran | @nyshkac

Monday, 28 Mar 2016 | 10:11 PM ET

Oculus Rift's first virtual reality (VR) headset has been targeted at the consumer electronics sector, specifically gamers, but its real significance could lie in commercial use.

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Two years after being acquired by Facebook for $2 billion, Oculus Rift finally launched its hotly-anticipated device to the general public on Monday. The Rift aims to "radically redefine gaming and entertainment with 3D interactive content," according to the company's website, with over 30 video games available on the Oculus Store. More content will soon be added, including feature-length movies, Oculus said.

Experts, such as Zynga co-founder Tom Bollich, hailed the Rift's launch, comparing it to life-changing inventions such as computers and smartphones because of its potential to transform the technology market.

"The initial target audience may be gamers, but moving on from that, there are a lot of applications in the commercial space," echoed Kenneth Liew, senior research manager at market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

Still, the Rift's high price point and specific computer requirements could deter most people from buying it, compared to Google's Cardboard and Samsung's Gear that are lower-end and mobile-based, Joost Van Dreunen, CEO of market intelligence firm Superdata, told CNBC's Street Signs.

Among expectations for global VR consumer revenue to hit $3.6 billion this year alone, according to Superdata, we look at five ways to incorporate the Rift into the greater economy outside of entertainment.

Video conferencing

Using the Rift to make remote video calls could be the first non-gaming service to roll out seeing as it's a personal dream of Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, Liew noted.

Earlier this year, Zuckerberg recently announced a desire to capture his child's first steps in virtual reality.

"I hope we have a 360 camera that can capture the whole scene, so if my family isn't there to experience it, I can send it to them afterwards - or it would be real-time enough where I could stream it to them live. They could put on a headset or get a message and feel like they're really there and experiencing it."

In 2013, electronics design consulting firm Pletex announced plans to bring immersive telepresence technology, i.e. a video communications system that simulates user immersion within a remote location, to the Rift.

Design

Using the Rift to create three-dimensional (3D) graphics, interiors or products could be a game-changer for architects, engineers and the real-estate market, according to Liew.

Designers would be able to draw in 3D instead of a flat surface, enabling them to create true-to-scale, and navigable models, he explained.

A number of developers have already zoomed in on this sector, creating customized software for design-oriented firms. Moreover, prospective home buyers could also tour houses via a virtual reality headset and make informed decisions without actually being present, Liew noted.

Healthcare

The use of virtual reality for healthcare has been widely researched in the private sector, with companies such as Virtually Better, ImmersiveTouch and Medical Realities creating software for medical evaluations, therapy and surgery.

For example, doctors and trainees could use the Rift to examine a patient's body before performing invasive operations for greater precision, Liew said. Using the Rift to treat patients with mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, is also underway.

Education

History and geography lessons can be enhanced with the Rift by bringing students to simulated environments, noted Liew.

High-profile academic institutions, including Stanford, are already incorporating virtual reality software, and some schools, such as the Savannah College of Art and Design, are even using it to recruit prospective students.

Logistics

For staff working in massive warehouses, dealing with inventory and ensuring efficient, speedy deliveries can be a Herculean task.

VR headsets however could increase productivity, allowing employees to see where items are placed and optimize load building, explained Liew.

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Virtual Reality Depends on Growth Beyond Gaming

Stephen L Kanaval Follow | Tuesday, 19 January 2016 10:40 (EST)

When Goldman Sachs predicted that the virtual reality and augmented reality sectors could boom to an $80 billion dollar market by 2025, some analysts thought their projections were a little inflated. Large businesses are already starting to explore and experiment with the possibilities of merging virtual reality with other sectors.

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Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus was more than just about playing zero-gravity ping-pong. The Oculus Rift head-mounted tech can create digital communication that Skype could never allow. A virtual cross-country call home to friends and family could be heart-mending for many in our global economy. The idea of sharing reality with friends is the lure for Facebook, but VR goes well beyond that.

STRIVR Labs is an athletic training facility that exclusively uses VR to train players to assess game situations in real time. Temple University exclusively used the lab this year to help its quarterback, linebackers, and safeties. The founders and software engineers at STRIVR have goals to put this experience in the hands of the fans. What does it feel like to be Marshawn Lynch on one of those long bruising runs where seven people are slung on your back? STRIVR wants you to know.

Of course, virtual reality software is still dealing with latency issues, affordability, and ease of use. However in ten years many see VR changing healthcare, and military industries. ImmersiveTouch is a healthcare tech company that is looking to get into the market to train nurses and new doctors through VR simulators. Bravemind is a virtual reality experience that slowly exposes veterans to stimuli that trigger PTSD responses, which over time allows them to heal and create stress-relieving mechanisms.

Distance learning is another industry that could be disrupted by VR. Imagine a virtual classroom where you follow your history professor on a walking tour of Washington D.C. and being able to ask questions and explore the environment with one-on-one guidance. Imagine an online chemistry class that includes a virtual lab where your professor can assist you in experiments, rather than the usual platform of chats and downloadable PowerPoints.

After the imagination of the entertainment industry has reached its limits with virtual reality, practical applications will explode with boundless uses that stem from those tools and technology.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

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3D Haptic Technology

Posted on Wednesday 18th February 2015 | Medical

ImmersiveTouch Inc. has received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for the Sensimmer® Mission Rehearsal® Software, making it the only patented and FDA-cleared software for simulating and evaluating open and minimally invasive surgical treatment options.

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The Sensimmer® software segments imaging data such as CT and MRI scans into patient-specific, 3D life-sized models. The 3D segmentation model can be exported to the ImmersiveTouch® Simulator practice environment where surgeons can “pre-operate” on their 3D patients by using a tactile robotic arm to touch and feel the subtle differences between specific tissues, organs, tumors and bones.

The company says numerous surgeons in the United States validated the realistic feel produced by the proprietary Sensimmer® algorithms and robotic arm and surgeons can concretely visualize their procedure by practicing different techniques before entering the OR – which will lead to an ever-expanding library of modules for training and post-operative debriefing.

The Neurological Surgery Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Medical Center has been using the Sensimmer Mission Rehearsal software for more two years, and has provided clinical insight to the company during its development. Fady Charbel, MD, Head of Neurological Surgery at UIC, is the Principal Medical Advisor for ImmersiveTouch and worked with ImmersiveTouch Co-Founder and CEO Pat Banerjee in validating the platform.

Dr. Ben Roitberg, Professor of Surgery and a long time collaborator from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, welcomed the FDA clearance. “This is a very important milestone. It is key for our ability to use the device for preoperative training,” he said. “It is definitely a major future direction because ultimately, surgical simulation should be done fully in virtual reality. That’s the way of the future, and that’s how training and practice of any procedure can be repeated multiple times, cost effectively, anywhere in the world.”

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HealthBox Unveils Its Chicago Class of Digital Health Startups

by Jasmine Pennic 07/31/2015

Healthbox, a healthcare technology focused business accelerator has announced the brand new class of innovative health tech startups for its upcoming Chicago Studio. This will be Healthbox’s fourth program in Chicago and fourteenth overall, where they have worked with 105 healthcare startups and invested in 85 to date. Since its inception in Chicago in 2012, Healthbox has contributed to a boom in the healthcare entrepreneurial movement in Illinois.

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These startups were selected from over 120 applicants via a rigorous selection process in collaboration with Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) and Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare. This cohort will also include an employee innovation, Guardian Health Technologies, from Rush University Medical Center, with the goal of Healthbox supporting the creation of a commercial business plan to accelerate growth.

Here is an overview of the ten selected digital health startups for Healthbox’s Chicago class:

Admetsys has developed a novel artificial pancreas for hospital and surgical care that improves health outcomes and health economics through high-tech automation.

GreenLight Medical is a cloud-based platform to facilitate online collaboration between hospital staff and medical technology professionals for the review, approval, and purchase of new medical technology.

Guardian Health Technologies from Rush University Medical Center is a medical decision support solution that uses artificial intelligence and evidence-based clinical content to analyze data to produce real-time insights to assist clinicians in making more accurate diagnostic and treatment decisions.

Human Practice offers a mobile platform for doctors to discover and communicate with each other within a health system to strengthen referral relationships.

ImmersiveTouch allows surgeons to visualize and practice a surgery using virtual reality and imaging technology.

Lifespeed allows you to personalize and share your health story with clarity through our innovative, private and secure platform.

Orunje is a healthcare on demand platform that connects patients with vetted local physicians and nurse practitioners with the goal of providing convenient, quality and affordable healthcare delivery.

SpiroSano is a clinical solution focused on redefining the way healthcare professionals manage chronic conditions such as Asthma, COPD, and Cystic Fibrosis by extending the relationship beyond the office visit allowing for real-life disease management.

Welltwigs has developed a smartphone connected fertility monitor that helps women get pregnant.

Wellth allows ACOs to directly and measurably improve the quality metrics on which they are graded and reimbursed.

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Sensimmer Mission Rehearsal Software FDA Cleared to Simulate Surgeries, Minimally Invasive Procedures

FEBRUARY 10TH, 2015

ImmersiveTouch Inc., a company out of Chicago, IL, won FDA clearance for its Sensimmer Mission Rehearsal software to be used in simulating potential surgeries using patient CT and MRI data. Surgeons can practice different approaches and techniques on the 3D models while actually feeling different tissue types through the haptic controller.

ImmersiveTouchThe system has already been in use at the Neurological Surgery Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Medical Center for over two years and the value of the system grows over time as interesting cases can be added to its database for post-op study and in preparation for similar cases in the future.

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From the product page:

Patient-specific 3D/Haptic models are built directly from CT/MRI data. Operating surgeons and their team can pre-visualize and ‘pre-touch’ their planned surgical intervention, explore the patient specific anatomy and fine tune their procedure choices using the ImmersiveTouch MissionRehearsal™ simulator. This helps reduced intra- and post-operative complications and reccurence/re-admit rates. The technology is ‘hands-on’ for the surgeons, easy to use, takes only 15 min – 30 min per case, and complements current surgery preparation methods with minimal chances in surgeons’ and radiologists behavior.

The benefits of improved patient quality of care, lower complication rates for surgeons, and reduction in cost of care from reductions in complications make this a must-have investment.

Other benefits include:

  • Improve utilization of OR’s, better prediction of surgery times and increase surgeons’ OR productivity
  • Better pre-operative surgery planning can help increase a hospital’s STARS rating
  • The 3D patient-specific anatomy model can facilitate surgeon/patient communication
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Virtual reality: How gaming apps are being used in healthcare to improve patient adherence and quality of life

For many people, the excitement surrounding virtual reality (VR) is pretty firmly embedded in its applications for gaming - allowing players to immerse themselves ever more deeply in their favoured pastime - be it racing cars, shooting zombies or playing sports. In recent years however applications have already started to appear that reveal a swathe of applications outside the gaming sector, including healthcare, and much of the recent activity has resulted from the plummeting costs and rapid improvements in the technology helped by cheaper, faster processors and other components.

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In fact, healthcare has emerged as one of the most fertile areas for VR applications. Systems have already been deployed to train doctors and other healthcare workers in a safe, interactive environment, help diagnose diseases and as a tool in robotic surgery, although these tend to be very expensive, sometimes as much as $300,000.

Now, with several cheaper, consumer-oriented headsets due to reach the market in the next few years in the $100 to $1,000 dollar range, the number of applications is expected to grow at a rapid pace.

Comfortably at the head of the pack among these new players is Oculus Rift VR - a company recently acquired by Facebook for $2bn - which has already made its Rift headset available to thousands of developers so they can work on applications for the device.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg seems to be enamoured with VR, saying recently he sees it and the related augmented reality (AR) - which layers computer-generated objects into the real-world - as the next major technologies that people will use to interact with each other, potentially supplanting smartphones.

In healthcare and medicine, there are already some fantastic examples of what can be achieved with VR, with much of the activity loosely split between training modules, clinical interventions and consumer-focused applications.

Training and education

Among the medical training applications, surgical simulation specialist ImmersiveTouch has developed a high-end unit that includes 'haptic feedback', recreating the sense of touch via a robotic arm in order to complement the 3D visuals generated by a headset from patients' CT or MRI scans.

The system is already approved for use by the FDA as a training module for both open and minimally-invasive surgeries, with a rapidly expanding library of surgical 'modules' extending its applications.

“Ultimately, surgical simulation should be done fully in virtual reality,” according to Ben Roitberg, professor of surgery at Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, who has collaborated with ImmersiveTouch on the unit's development.

“That's the way of the future, and that's how training and practice of any procedure can be repeated multiple times, cost-effectively, anywhere in the world.”

That view is backed up by a meta-analysis of 16 trials of VR simulators which concluded that using the technology reduced the time taken to complete a surgical task as well as medical errors, and could distinguish between experienced and novice surgeons.

Other companies working on VR and AR in the training sector include Viscira, Medical Realities and zSpace - with applications ranging from virtual, 3D anatomical atlases to training first responders in emergency situations such as traffic accidents.

Not all these applications require expensive equipment. In Viscira's Mindscape, for example, a Rift headset is used to simulate the effects of schizophrenia so that healthcare workers or carers can gain an understanding of the impact of the disease.

“Healthcare has emerged as one of the most fertile areas for VR application”

Healthcare has emerged as one of the most fertile areas for VR application

The intent is for the user to develop more empathy for the patient and the challenges they face, and reinforce the need for active, consistent patient support and ongoing medication adherence. It also helps to demonstrate the ability for patients with the disease to still lead active, quality lives with the right plan in place.

Viscira also developed a VR exhibit called EyeMac that enabled physicians to simulate the experience of having neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Treating patients

Using VR as a clinical intervention is still in its infancy, although there have been hundreds of clinical trials looking at its potential.

Many of these focus on the relief of pain and anxiety, but there are also studies focusing on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and phobias, diseases such as stroke, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as rehabilitation of patients undergoing major surgeries such as total knee arthroplasty.

Using Virtually Better's Bravemind - developed by scientists at the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) - soldiers suffering from PTSD can undergo a sophisticated form of graduated exposure therapy - reliving a traumatic event in a controlled way that helps them overcome their fears.

The system uses a headset, a haptic plate to deliver the physical shock of an explosion and even a scent module that mimics smells such as burning plastic, diesel and body odour. A related system called STRIVE aims to helps combatants prevent PTSD in the first place.

Scientists at the University of Washington have deployed VR in SnowWorld, a game that is used to distract burn patients - including veterans - while they undergo excruciating burn treatment and physical therapy. Clinical trials of the approach suggest significant reductions in pain during wound care while in the VR environment compared to simply playing the game in 2D on a console.

Other groups are using VR applications to provide motor and cognitive training to stroke and multiple sclerosis patients, treat headache, correct eye disorders such as strabismus and help people cope with social phobia, among many other examples.

“Clinical trials suggest significant reductions in pain during wound care while in the VR environment”

Consumer applications

While Oculus' Rift headset has underpinned many of the applications being developed, other tech giants are queuing up to bring rival devices to market.

Sony's project Morpheus is a headset firmly targeted at its PlayStation games console - now renamed PlayStation VR - while HTC and Steam are doing likewise with their Vive device. Both are due to debut next year.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's recently-announced HoloLens device is promising to transform Xbox games and much more - according to their video. Samsung's Gear VR - which turns a Samsung phone into a VR headset - is promising to make the technology available for as little as $99 (not including the phone of course).

Google is also reported to be working on a big VR project called Cardboard that goes well beyond a relatively basic headset prototype, which is an interesting development given the company's evident interest in healthcare.

Increasing competition means that the price point for VR is expected to plummet over the next few years while accuracy and user experience will improve, likely pushing the technology to an ever-wider audience.

Much like wearable devices such as smart watches, VR looks set to find a role in the fitness and wellness category, for example with the development of apps such as a new VR-enabled version of Runtastic that allow users to train in a virtual environment.

A much more sophisticated system called Icaros combines a multigym-like apparatus with software that allows users to fly through virtual landscapes - getting a serious workout in the process. With an anticipated price tag of $5,000 to $10,000, initially the device will be aimed at gyms and other fitness facilities, although the company says it is eventually hoping to develop a home version.

Although some analysts have predicted slow take-up at first - just like PCs and smartphones in the early days - others predict that within as little as three years sales of VR technologies will be worth several billion dollars a year.

Given the level of activity among developers, healthcare looks odds-on to grab a slice of that market.

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THE 9 HEALTHCARE COMPANIES MAKING INNOVATIONS IN VIRTUAL REALITY

By Aaron Burch; July 29, 2016

We’re all aware that the potential applications of Virtual Reality span far beyond the world of gaming. There are potential applications in entertainment, sports, business and even in healthcare. Healthcare is one industry in particular that stands to really benefit from the utilization of VR technology. Imagine being able to get a consultation from any doctor across the globe. To take that thought further, imagine having a doctor in one country perform surgery in another country through the use of Virtual Reality; the possible applications of VR in the healthcare industry are truly limitless and have the potential to be more life changing than any other VR innovations. Healthcare is not one of the flashier industries for VR right now, as a result there are not nearly as many companies nor as much interest compared to those working on VR gaming; but the companies who are working in this space are doing great things and have real potential to alter the healthcare industry.

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ImmersiveTouch is working on creating simulation based surgical training and exploration. They accomplish this through the use of their simulators which immerse the person in a digitally replicated operating environment. The simulators used by ImmersiveTouch are kind of unique in look and have a lot of components to them including: two handed instrument replicas, surgery specific foot pedals, ultrasound guidance, endoscopic views and more. This looks sophisticated and like it would be really beneficial to use; and a tool like this gives surgeons the opportunity to learn something new without the risk of being in a live operating room.

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Virtual Realities – 4 Promising Healthcare Applications for VR

SEPTEMBER 27th, 2016

Once reserved for entertainment and gaming, virtual reality (VR) has now firmly established itself as a legitimate platform for improving healthcare. But, with all of the hype it can be hard to differentiate between the applications that are most likely to fizzle out and which will offer the greatest impact on the practice of medicine. To provide some clarity, we talked with Dr. Daniel Kraft, physician, entrepreneur and chairman of the Exponential Medicine Conference. The following includes his take on the pockets of medicine that are already experiencing the greatest VR advancements, with examples of the teams and technologies responsible for the innovation.

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Medical Education:

For years we’ve seen VR simulation technologies used for healthcare education and training. Companies such as ImmersiveTouch, VirtaMed and Medical Realities are combining 360 video and 3D interactive content to develop cutting-edge learning programs that place physicians and students inside a digitally replicated operating environment.

These technologies provide physicians and students with a risk-free setting to practice life-saving procedures and techniques–especially ones that are not commonly performed–while gathering usability feedback along the way.

Pain Management:

There are a number of cognitive distraction methods designed to decrease patient pain and anxiety. Applied VR, for example, is a mobile platform designed to distract a patient by immersing them in a simulated world filled with interactive games. Other innovations such as SnowWorld, an app that provides therapeutic VR for burn victims, as well as experimental advancements in phantom-limb pain management, prove that there are drug-free pain management alternatives that can be used within, and outside of, clinical care settings.

Treating Mental Illness:

Exposure therapy is the standard for treating some mental illnesses. Enter VR in place of, or in addition to, those experiences and you have a reasonably low cost, flexible, low risk solution for treating mental illness.

Bravemind is a software designed for veterans that suffer from PTSD, where patients are immersed into a simulated battlefield scene, allowing them to gradually relive the trauma under the care and supervision of a clinician. Companies such as Virtually Better and PHOBOS provide similar exposure therapy to help patients cope with phobias and other anxiety disorders.

Virtual reality has also unlocked new ways of relaxing and calming the body. DEEP and Zen Zone, both Google Cardboard apps, offer peaceful, guided meditation experiences for treating anxiety and panic attacks.

Exercise & Physical Therapy:

A huge shift is happening in the fitness industry as many startups–such as VirZoom, Widerun and BlueGoji–couple cardio routines with VR to change the way we exercise.

Taking it a step further, VR is also starting to play a larger role in physical therapy, where some patients are being offered an exercise regimen that includes VR, in place of invasive surgery and/or drugs. Companies like Gesturetek Health is one such company.

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How Virtual Reality Will Change the Health Industry

Published on 12th January 2017 | Friday

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Since 2012, there has been an immense leap in the interest of virtual reality. Products like HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Google Cardboard have become huge topics of conversation as an era of virtual reality marks its birth. From the sciences to entertainment, virtual reality has found a way to permeate into and benefit industries across the globe. Among the industries, health care will see some of the most direct and imminent gains.

According to the team at Biotricity, a health company specializing in biometric solutions, "In the new year there will be a multitude of different benefits that virtual reality will play in health care, which will improve the lives of both doctors and patients." As 2015 comes to an end, the new year will bring exciting innovations in health care that will revolutionize the experiences of the industry, internally and externally. These innovations will include facilitation of procedures, trainings, and improvement of medical methods. Here are a few things to know about how virtual reality is effective the health care industry.

1. Virtual reality will assist employee training

One of the key implementations of virtual reality in the medical field is that it will allow doctors and medical professionals to practice procedures that they don't regularly have access to in the office. There are a variety of different mobile virtual reality devices that are becoming equip to handle these exercises. Among them, Gear VR, VR One, and Google Cardboard have stood out as some of the most promising. These devices will dramatically change the way in which hospitals and health care facilities are able to train their nurses, doctors, and medical personnel. There are many instances of virtual reality already playing a role in training. Nicklaus Children's Hospital has recently partnered with Next Galaxy Corp, an augmented and virtual reality company, to create software designed for procedures in hospitals. The technology is centered on the virtual reality medical instructional software, which functions to guide users through procedures like a Foley catheter insertion, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and wound care. As the technology continues to advance, training new employees will become easier and more cost effective. In addition, the training itself will be more effective. By enabling the trainee to immerse himself in a virtual reality environment, the staff member is able to synthetize a much more realistic and memorable experience for the new employee. Among its many proven benefits, virtual reality has shown remarkable abilities in enabling medical staff to learn and retain information

2. Although it is new, it's having a huge impact

Virtual reality will soon be guiding our learning in many ways. From teaching us new skills, to helping us overcome medical ailments, virtual reality will play a key role in the deployment and utilization of many different health related procedures. Despite its progress, virtual reality is, by any standard, still in its early stages. Its net benefits and possible implementations have yet to be fully uncovered. . Its interactive nature allows staff to participate in rather than observe procedures. When a person is engaged in an activity, their behavior effects their memory far more than if they were merely observing an activity. This type of learning is more conducive for long term memory and learning. Virtual reality is surprisingly a great way for medical facilities and hospitals to reduce cost. Seeing the potential for improvement in the industry, many tech companies are partnering up with virtual reality to bring the advantages to the present.

3. Clinical health care settings and hospitals are benefiting

Virtual reality offers doctors and medical professionals to simulate surgery and other intensive procedures. In doing so, the technology is able to strengthen the skill sets of the user at lower costs than before. Using new VR-imbedded technologies, surgeons receive both physical and visual feedback when going through the motions of a procedure. Companies like Medical Realities and ImmersiveTouch have developed new simulators to help these practices. While it is only recently becoming a main topic of discussion in the tech world, virtual reality has been providing benefits to health care for nearly 20 years. In the past two decades, virtual reality simulations have been operated in order to help patients with conditions like phobias, severe pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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PRESS RELEASES


ImmersiveTouch Inc. Fills Executive Management Team

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, January 14, 2017 (Newswire.com) - ​​​​​​​​​​​ImmersiveTouch Inc., the global leader in virtual and augmented reality software for surgeons, today announced recent appointments strengthening their Executive Management team.

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The Company has appointed James Bowman as Chief Executive Officer, Jay Banerjee as Chief Operating Officer, John Clennan as Vice President of Sales and Jia Luo, PhD as Vice President of Engineering.

Mr. Bowman has 20 years experience commercializing innovative medical technologies. He has held senior leadership positions for growing life science companies including as CEO of public and private medical device companies. Jim has driven the business development of disruptive technologies in companies such as, C.R. BARD, Ohmeda (BOC Healthcare), Encision and Surgical Laser Technologies.

Jay Banerjee is appointed COO after spending his past three years with ImmersiveTouch building shareholder value while responsible for sales, marketing, business development and strategic partnerships.

John Clennan is a commercial sales executive with over 20 years experience in the healthcare industry, including leadership roles with the Imaging Division of GE Healthcare. John specializes in launching new technologies from early stage into growing businesses with solid commercial foundations.

Dr. Jia Luo is an expert in multisensory medical simulation applications including high-resolution 3D graphics, high-fidelity haptics, real-time dynamic simulation and virtual/augmented reality. He has many years experience developing medical simulation software including the design of ImmersiveTouch simulators. Jia was awarded the Link Foundation Fellowship on Advanced Simulation.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be at ImmersiveTouch right now. The strength of the technology – and the momentum we’re seeing in the market – has us feeling confident that we are developing the best surgical simulation and planning solutions for surgeons,” said ImmersiveTouch Founder & Executive Chairman, Dr. Pat Banerjee. “Jim, Jay, John, and Jia bring an extensive amount of experience and the necessary leadership skills to help guide the business to the next stage of our growth, nationally and internationally. We’re excited to have them on the team.”

About ImmersiveTouch Inc.

ImmersiveTouch Inc. is a privately held, Chicago, Illinois-based company at the forefront of virtual reality and augmented reality applications in surgery. The company’s unique surgical simulation platform called MissionRehearsal® enables surgeons to test the safest and most minimally invasive pathway for complex surgical procedures. The proprietary technology combines 3D VR imaging with tactile haptic feedback sensation. Frost & Sullivan recently awarded ImmersiveTouch as the Most Innovative Surgical Simulation Technology. The technology has been widely adopted by leading academic medical centers.

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ImmersiveTouch Inc. Launches Exclusive Distributor Alliances for China Market

Agreements provide full coverage in China for Neurosurgery and Ophthalmology markets

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, November 7, 2016 (Newswire.com) - ImmersiveTouch, the global leader in virtual and augmented reality software for neurosurgery and ophthalmology, today announced the contracting of two exclusive distribution agreements for ImmersiveTouch products in Mainland China. The agreements with Beijing Beidestar Technology and Development Ltd. and Master Medical Technology Co., Ltd are effective immediately. Both companies will provide specific market coverage for ImmersiveTouch products in neurosurgery and ophthalmology. The agreements call for an initial purchasing commitment for ImmersiveTouch simulation systems.

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“The demand for our simulators in China has exceeded our expectations as surgeons have quickly realized the benefits of patient specific virtual reality imaging. Our simulations for resident training and pre-operative planning and rehearsal have gotten quick attention in this market,” said Jay Banerjee, President and Chief Operating Officer, ImmersiveTouch. “Our exclusive distribution alliances will enable hospitals in China to utilize our technology effectively, efficiently and with full distributor support.”

ImmersiveTouch is at the forefront of virtual reality and augmented reality applications in healthcare. The company is developing a new FDA-cleared digital surgery platform called MissionRehearsal® that allows surgeons to visualize patient anatomy by converting traditional black and white DICOM images into 3D virtual reality simulated surgeries. Frost & Sullivan recently awarded MissionRehearsal® as the most innovative simulation technology in North America. There are currently more than 30 university hospitals utilizing ImmersiveTouch technology. The enterprise software is designed to reduce operating room cost and improve how patients interact with physicians.

About ImmersiveTouch, Inc.

ImmersiveTouch, Inc. is a leading augmented reality and virtual reality software company dedicated to improving healthcare. The result is a digital surgery imaging platform that allows surgeons to simulate and plan critical surgeries using 3D imaging and tactile haptic feedback. ImmersiveTouch is collaborating with physicians, universities, medical societies, and industry partners to establish a new standard of care in surgery.

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New ImmersiveTouch® Technology to reduce critical errors in surgery

CHICAGO, IL, USA (July 1, 2015) – Each year, 400,000 people are killed due to preventable medical errors, which is now the third most prevalent killer in the U.S. behind cancer and heart disease. And the cost is staggering, with some estimates as high as $17.1 billion a year. "The tragedy that we’re talking about here is deaths taking place that should not be taking place,” said subcommittee Chair Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in his opening remarks at a recent Senate hearing on patient safety. To help solve the crisis, ImmersiveTouch Inc., a Chicago based company, is developing virtual reality simulation software to help surgeons prepare for high-risk, complex surgeries. The technology is having an immediate impact as a training device for young surgeons to simulate real cases in virtual reality, similar to how pilots prepare for complex flights using flight simulation.

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ImmersiveTouch® converts patient images into life sized 3D virtual holograms helping the surgeon visualize every procedure. Unique to ImmersiveTouch® is robust and real-time haptic feedback that was developed over the past 10 years through funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH). Haptic feedback allows the surgeon to touch and feel the different tissues in the 3D patient replica. Studies have shown that achieving realistic touch is the holy grail of simulation. “Simulation companies today rely 100% on 3D visuals to simulate a surgical procedure,” says Cristian Luciano, Co-Inventor and VP of Product Development. “Our goal is to recreate the entire procedure as realistically as possible using a combination of 3D visuals and realistic haptic touch feedback. ImmersiveTouch® is emerging as the leader in haptics research.”

“Our product is patient specific,” says Pat Banerjee, CEO & Founder of ImmersiveTouch®. “We can provide a solution that allows surgeons to rehearse complicated cases prior to operation.” Hospital systems such as The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Chicago Medical Center are embracing ImmersiveTouch® as the next technological breakthrough in surgery. ImmersiveTouch® leads the industry as the training simulator of choice at the top medical systems in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Leading medical societies are establishing simulation as part of a standard national curriculum. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS) are training junior residents in the United States using ImmersiveTouch® simulators. “Simulators can introduce residents to certain situations or unusual conditions (e.g., a rare tumor type) that they may not observe during residency,” says D. Farley from Mayo Clinic.

After receiving FDA 510k clearance earlier this year, ImmersiveTouch® is raising an additional round of funding to expand the technology and dive deeper in pre-operative rehearsal. “The mission of our company is to save lives and facilitate more effective surgeries,” CEO Pat Banerjee added. “The closer we are to the OR with pre-operative rehearsal, the more lives we will save.

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ImmersiveTouch partners with medical societies to establish national simulation training for junior residents

NEW YORK, NY, USA (May 29, 2015) – ImmersiveTouch has partnered with the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS) and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) to provide simulation training to junior residents in the United States. The company sent two trainers and a Spine simulator to the SNS boot camps this year. The courses were hosted at Indiana University, the University of California at San Diego, and Weill Cornell Medical College. The Spine simulator was used in conjunction with cadavers to help residents perform an open pedicle screw insertion in virtual reality.

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“This year marks an historic event – neurosurgical simulation is used as part of a standard national curriculum for the first time,” said Dr. Ben Roitberg, volunteer instructor in Indianapolis and practicing neurosurgeon at the University of Chicago.

“There is a growing consensus that the ImmersiveTouch simulator brings significant value in the training of residents,” added Dr. Ali Alaraj, volunteer instructor in San Diego and practicing neurosurgeon at the University of Illinois.

The course was organized and administered by both the SNS and AANS and is intended to introduce junior residents to the operating room and to learn certain procedures such as laminectomy and pedicle screw insertion.

The courses were funded by industry sponsorship from Stryker, Integra, Medtronic, Zeiss, Centinel Spine, Elekta, Depuy Synthes, Biomet, & ImmersiveTouch.

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University of Chicago Utilizes Sophisticated ImmersiveTouch Simulator in Organized Boot Camp for Intern Residents

CHICAGO, IL, USA (January 15, 2015) – ImmersiveTouch provides Neurosurgery residency programs with training simulators that deliver a virtual reality experience for their residents. The Pritzker School of Medicine in Chicago, IL utilized this technology in a boot camp organized by ImmersiveTouch.

Medical school educators use ImmersiveTouch simulators to provide hands-on experience for their students in neurosurgery, spinal surgery, anesthesiology, general surgery, and ophthalmology. "Some of the modules on the ImmersiveTouch® include Ventriculostomy, Trigeminal Rhizotomy, Lumbar Puncture, Central Line, Open Pedicle Screw, and Epidural," said Dr. Cristian Luciano, VP of Product Development at ImmersiveTouch.

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The system has become an integral part of the neurosurgery residency. “Residents do sets of certain procedures, or elements of procedures that require a high degree of coordination, spatial orientation and precision. Where there are many ways to be imprecise and dangerous, this kind of training is really helpful. The machine is objective, and the machine is vigilant. An observer can notice your expression, your general posture, your attitude, and a mentor or teacher can direct you in many ways,” said Neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Roitberg of University of Chicago. “But the machines can monitor things the mentor cannot, store it, and then present it in our learning management tool.”

The ImmersiveTouch® provides students familiarity with common open and minimally invasive procedures. Some skills include how to operate the C-arm and fluoroscopic screen, perform VP shunts, and cannulate small and shifted ventricles.

The ImmersiveTouch® is the only 3D simulator that combines high definition graphics with advanced haptic technology called Sensimmer® which allowing users to feel in real time the subtle differences between specific tissues, organs, tumors, and bones. The Sensimmer® software reconstructs CT and MRI images into 3D patient specific and life-sized models of the anatomy. This is vital for residents who want to visualize a real procedure.

ImmersiveTouch first launched the simulator ten years ago as a tool to train medical students. It has since evolved into a platform to enhance patient safety. The simulators have been installed in leading research and teaching hospitals across the globe. Hospitals include: The University of Calgary Medical Center, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Weill Cornell, Kansas University Medical Center, The University of Chicago Medical Center and others.

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ImmersiveTouch Receives FDA Clearance to Take Mission Rehearsal® 3D Haptic Technology One Step Further into Clinical Settings

CHICAGO, IL, USA (January 20, 2015) – ImmersiveTouch Inc. has received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for the Sensimmer® Mission Rehearsal® Software. Sensimmer® is the only patented and FDA cleared software for simulating and evaluating both open and minimally invasive surgical treatment options in the marketplace.

The Sensimmer® software segments imaging data such as CT and MRI scans into patient specific 3D life-sized models. Unique to ImmersiveTouch simulation systems, the 3D segmentation model can be exported to the ImmersiveTouch® Simulator practice environment where surgeons can then “pre-operate” on their 3D patient by using a tactile robotic arm to touch and feel the subtle differences between specific tissues, organs, tumors, and bones.

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Numerous surgeons in the United States have validated the realistic feel produced by the proprietary Sensimmer® algorithms and robotic arm. Surgeons can now concretely visualize their procedure by practicing different techniques before entering the OR. This will result in an ever-expanding library of modules for training and post-operative debriefing.

The Neurological Surgery Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Medical Center has been using the Sensimmer® Mission Rehearsal® software for over two years, and provided clinical insight to the company during its development. There are numerous publications offering substantive evidence that the ImmersiveTouch® simulator improves the likelihood of a successful surgical outcome. Fady Charbel, MD, Head of Neurological Surgery at UIC, is the Principal Medical Advisor for ImmersiveTouch and has worked with Co-Founder and CEO Pat Banerjee in validating the platform. Now with FDA clearance, the simulator will be used to improve clinical performance.

Dr. Ben Roitberg, Professor of Surgery and a long time collaborator from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, welcomed the FDA clearance. “This is a very important milestone. It is key for our ability to use the device for preoperative training,” he said. “It is definitely a major future direction because ultimately, surgical simulation should be done fully in virtual reality. That’s the way of the future, and that’s how training and practice of any procedure can be repeated multiple times, cost effectively, anywhere in the world.”

President & CEO Dr. Pat Banerjee also added, “Our goal is to enhance patient safety and improve clinical outcomes. This is the only simulator that can replicate an open procedure. In the event a less invasive procedure is not possible, surgeons will now be able to use our software for timely and realistic practice.”

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Visit us at:

AANS 2017
April 24th — 26th,
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Convention Center
Booth 1051
Hosted by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons

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