When talking Virtual and Augmented Reality one first think about entertainment and gaming and yet, the biggest breakthrough affecting the lives of people around the world might be happening not only there. For the past few years, there were more and more examples of successful usage of VR and AR technologies in healthcare and education. So why Nordics? The answer is — the results. The Nordic countries have been regularly rated among the highest in the world in healthcare and education. Also, they are among the forerunners when it comes to integration of the latest technologies into practice.
HEALTH & VR/AR
There are multiple use cases for VR/AR in health: from making a more accurate diagnosis to bringing mental support to a new level, to making professional health education even better.
And while VR in health will be a good business, as global virtual patient simulation market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 19.6% over the next decade to reach approximately 1.28 billion euro by 2025, according to “Virtual Patient Simulation Market Analysis and Trends- Technology, Product – Forecast to 2025″. It is also a great space to make a change, by helping medical professionals train and reduce medical errors, making rehabilitation practices more engaging, and consequently more effective, and so on.
Vertical, together with Samsung, and the largest hospital in Europe, Hospital District of Hospital and Uusimaa, provide a support for international and local health & wellbeing tech startups, by sharing guidance and platform for co-creation and piloting innovations in the clinical and real-world environment. The number of startup applications which could be categorized as VR/AR has been definitely growing, but still far from reaching its peak. Some of the interesting cases include:
Practigame complements traditional healthcare education methods with safe and cost-effective simulation environments. By using engaging gaming elements in virtual simulations and integrating the clinical reasoning process into the game mechanics, the company enhances the development of clinical reasoning and offers meaningful learning experiences.
Better Day combines immersive virtual reality environments with therapy for seniors, freeing them from physical constraints in a virtual environment and taking them to places they want to visit while carrying out cognitive and physical training.
IISCI has developed and introduces a completely new technology for restoring motor skills: combining biomechanics, machine learning, neuroscience, VR and computer graphics.They utilize neural networks which constantly learning from the patient and adjusting the program, making it more engaging and fun, assuring the patient keeping on with the program and not dropping out. This technique allows patients to get almost twice better rehabilitation.
As about Helsinki District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, it pays a huge attention to VR/AR technology and prove to it is a recently opened VR lab inside of Biomedicum Research Centre where startups can demo and medical professionals can see the demos of the latest innovations in a field.
EDUCATION & VR/AR
Analysts expect education to be the 4th largest sector for VR/AR investment. By 2025 VR tech in education should grow to a $700 million industry. Why? Because learning is not enough anymore and now both students and teachers want to ‘feel and experience’ the subject.
Now the technology allows us to observe other galaxies and tiny microbes instead of just reading about them. Through interactions with dimensional objects, the natural sciences provide an endless spectrum of opportunities for content creators in VR. One of them, the UK-based startup Nano Simbox offers a unique digital science learning platform that provides a combination of beautiful yet rigorously scientific molecular journeys with 3D simulations.
Nano Simbox is a graduate of xEdu Spring ’17 acceleration program. xEdu is Nordic’s leading accelerator for startups innovating in education. With strong support from Samsung, xEdu has built a unique edtech ecosystem that allows the startups to co-create their solutions with the public schools in Finland and expand internationally.
With each program, xEdu receives more and more applications from startups transforming education through the VR and AR: from learning games platforms, creative math lessons to professional medical training and interactive documentaries. Two startups from xEdu Fall ‘16 batch will be showcasing their solutions in the Samsung booth at Slush 2017. So if you plan to visit this massive startup event in Helsinki, make sure to check out 3DBear and Lyfta.
3DBear makes 3D printing fun and engaging in schools using VR and AR to teach students in 3D. 3DBear AR (Augmented Reality) is a gamified learning application that allows users to implement virtual 3D models in a real living environment. In this series of multidisciplinary learning modules, students can use the application to (re)design their physical surroundings, create art objects and plan games for themselves
Lyfta creates interactive VR-documentaries that make serious topics accessible, engaging and fun for learners, and easy to teach and assess for educators. A series of creative activities and assessments, designed by Finnish and British pedagogical experts, complement the engaging digital content.
We should make a shift if in our perception of VR & AR as something peripheral and acknowledge the impact on society they are making already now.
Interested to hear here more about how VR & AR could make this world a better place? Building a startup in health or education and want to connect with Samsung?
If you are into education – xEdu will be opening soon their new application period for the Spring batch 2018.
If you are into health & wellbeing – You can apply until December 17 to our Spring batch 2018.
Authors: Oles Datsko & Bogdana Gamburg