Surgical training tool Osso VR raises $66M

The company designs its own virtual reality experiences for surgeons to learn new techniques

COVID may have made physician burnout worse, but it’s hardly a new problem. Technology can be great, but it can also put a greater burden on the doctor, requiring more training. It’s probably even worse for surgeons, as they have to learn entirely new techniques, sometimes on the fly. 

Osso VR helps alleviate some of that by offering surgeons a fully remote, VR-enabled solution that allows them to learn new techniques anytime, anywhere, without the need for a lot of travel, or expensive equipment.

On Wednesday, the company announced a $66 million Series C funding round led by Oak HC/FT. The round also includes participation from Signalfire, GSR Ventures, Tiger Global Management and Kaiser Permanente Ventures. This follows its $27 million Series B round of funding this past July, and it brings the company’s total funding to $109 million. 

Osso designs and develops its own virtual experiences for surgeons to learn new techniques, and it can be used by both fully trained surgeons who are out of practice, as well as by surgeons who are early in their career, both of whom are trying to either master newer technologies or refresh themselves on procedures they perform infrequently.

To use Osso, they just need a headset that they can use either in between surgeries, or at home, to perform whatever procedure they need to. Once they’re done, they get an assessment of their workflow, their ability to do steps well with clinical satisfaction, and their efficiency. 

Surgeons can train by themselves, or they can do so with their team, including a surgical tech, circulating nurse, and radiology technician; they can also get coaching from experts all around the world who can give them tips and tricks.

While the medical professionals are Osso’s end users, its customers are the medical device manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson, Stryker, and Smith & Nephew, which use the software to help train surgeons on how to use their latest equipment.

The way it usually works is that a company, such as Johnson & Johnson, will pay to fly surgeons to a place like Las Vegas, Hawaii, or Florida, where they get to experience the new technology, and practice maybe one or two times with. Allowing surgeons to train remotely saves the manufacturers both the time and money to show off their equipment in person.  

In addition, Osso also partners with healthcare institutions, including Brown University, Hospital for Special Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, and Rush University, who use the technology to train their surgeons.

Osso VR currently offers over 120 modules in over 10 specialties, including orthopedics, spine, interventional cardiology, and general surgery, and has seen over 30,000 training sessions completed on the platform, providing an average of 22,000 minutes of training a month. It has shown to improve surgical performance anywhere from 230 percent to 306 percent.

Since its last funding round, Osso has grown from under 80 to 160 employees, developed new modules in new specialties, and had more clinical studies accepted for publication, Justin Barad, MD, CEO and co-founder of Osso VR, told me.

The company also recently won the SXSW innovation award in the VR, AR, and MR category. 

Osso says it will use the capital to accelerate its initiative to broaden access to surgical education for all healthcare professionals.

“We are always releasing new product features. We also are finding ways to better democratize access to surgical education by leveraging Osso’s platform,” said Baard.

It will also be used to build out the team; the company has more than 150 employees and plans to grow that to over 300 by the end of 2022, hiring across all departments including product, engineering, operations, commercial and art. 

“We see Osso as a universal simulation platform. Our ultimate goal is to at a minimum reach all 1.1 million surgeons around the world to improve their performance for the 310 million procedures that are performed annually.”

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