Osso VR takes in $27M to train surgeons using simulations

A healthcare startup has attracted alums from Microsoft, Apple and George Lucas' visual effects company to turn surgical training into a cinema-quality virtual experience.

San Francisco-based Osso VR experienced rapid growth during 2020 to meet the increased demand in virtual training driven by the pandemic-fueled need for digital models, the company said.

The startup has now banked $27 million to train surgeons using high-fidelity, virtual reality simulations.

The series B funding round was led by GSR Ventures with participation from Signalfire, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, OCA Ventures, Scrum Ventures, Leslie Ventures and Anorak Ventures. The company has raised $43 million to date.

The company built a surgical training library with more than 120 modules in 10-plus specialties designed for medical device companies and practicing surgeons. As part of the recent growth, the company recently expanded into additional specialties including orthopedics, endoscopy and interventional procedures.

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Osso VR says its platform provides an exceptional level of visual fidelity, ensuring every aspect of surgery, from anatomical detail to the OR environment, enhances the training experience. Osso VR employs a large medical illustration team and alums from Industrial Light & Magic, Electronic Arts, Microsoft and Apple to create cinema-quality educational experiences at scale. The aim is to provide a realistic, hands-on training environment that leads to real-world performance gains and ultimately improved patient outcomes. 

UCLA and Harvard-trained orthopedic surgeon Justin Barad, M.D., co-founded the company in 2016. With his sights originally set on game development, Barad combined his passions and his technology background to tackle medical problems. During his residency, he identified what could be one of the most pressing medical challenges of this century: how we are training our surgeons. 

Osso VR works with Johnson & Johnson, Stryker and Smith & Nephew on its VR surgical platform. All five of the top five orthopedic medical device companies choose Osso VR as their VR training partner, and it's available in multiple languages. More than 20 global hospital residency programs, including those at Brown University, the Hospital for Special Surgery, Johns Hopkins University and Rush University, train on Osso VR devices.

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“Osso VR is positioned to transform how surgeons are trained on new devices and surgical procedures,” said Sunny Kumar, M.D., a partner at GSR Ventures. “The Osso platform’s level of immersion provides an experience that mirrors the operating room in a manner more efficient, more accessible, and more effective than any surgical training platform that’s come before.”

With nearly 30,000 training sessions completed on the platform, providing an average of 22,000 minutes of training a month, Osso VR’s platform has shown to significantly impact surgical performance, according to the company. In two recent level 1 randomized peer-reviewed studies, surgeons training with Osso VR showed anywhere from a 230% to 306% improvement in overall surgical performance compared to traditional training.

"Osso VR has been on an incredible journey. We have built a once-in-a-lifetime team, bringing together experts from healthcare, technology, movies and gaming to pursue our mission: improve patient outcomes, accelerate the adoption of more-effective surgical technologies and democratize access to education. After proving the clinical effectiveness of the platform and its unique ability to scale up to the millions of providers around the world, we are ready to accelerate,” Barad said.

“With this latest round, we plan to exponentially expand our library and platform so that every patient in the world can have the peace of mind knowing they are getting access to the safest, highest-value procedures.”