Surgical Theater said today it pulled in $9 million in a Series A round, jumping ship from the Facebook owned Oculus Rift VR platform to HTC Corporations’ Vive.
HTC led the round of funding for Cleveland, Ohio-based Surgical Theater, joined by Shanghai Creation Investment Management.
“This additional funding is a vote of confidence in Surgical Theater’s vision of enhancing the way surgeons interact and utilize medical imaging, now and in the future,” Surgical Theater CEO Moty Avisar said in a press release.
Surgical Theater is developing a virtual reality-based image guidance system that will allow neurosurgeons to “virtually walk inside the patient’s anatomy” using virtual reality headsets that allow users to be completely immersed in the virtually-created patient body.
The company said that the platform will allow operating physicians to perform virtual explorations to see inside the brain through craniotomy openings to explore the make-up and vital structure of the brain.
“Surgical Theater’s Virtual Reality and Image Guidance also extends into the operating room, coupled with intra-operative navigation systems we are providing dynamic visualization capabilities in real time, allowing surgeons to perform a real-time ‘fly through’ of the surgical pathway, establish multiple views, rotate and interact with the navigation image. Additionally, the software suite allows HIPAA-compliant peer to peer consultation in specific cases,” Avisar said in prepared remarks.
Previously, Surgical Theater had planned to use Oculus Rift’s platform for their software. Oculus was purchased last year by Facebook for $2 billion. Phone and tablet company HTC is producing the HTC Vive, a competitor to the now-Facebook-owned VR device.
“Virtual reality will forever transform the way we experience the world around us, and HTC Vive’s unique 360 room-scale solution and tracking technology is enabling innovative applications of VR which will enrich every aspect of our lives. Our collaboration with Surgical Theater is an exciting opportunity to pioneer the medical use of VR, with a remarkable application in the highly specialized field of neurosurgery that enhances patient care could help save lives,” HTC CEO Cher Wang said in a prepared statement.
“Surgical Theater’s Virtual Reality based surgery guidance tools are already revolutionizing the way that neurosurgeons use medical imaging for surgery and the education of surgical residents. We are delighted to see that the HTC Vive headset, which has many consumer VR applications, can now be used to assist brain surgeons. We are very excited about the groundbreaking solutions resulting from the synergies between the two companies — the HTC Vive is now enabling a significant leap for brain surgeons with Surgical Theater VR applications,” Avisar said in a press release.