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£2.1m VR training investment could tackle NHS staffing crisis

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VR healthcare training provider Oxford Medical Simulation (OMS) has raised a further £2.1 million in a funding round.

OMS will use this latest funding to rapidly expand its product offering across healthcare education and practice and scale its US expansion.

The round included ACF Investors and angel investor Dr Nicolaus Henke – former chairman of Quantum Black and former head of McKinsey’s global healthcare practice.

The OMS software platform uses immersive VR simulations with AI-controlled patients to train healthcare professionals using hundreds of clinical scenarios.

The scenarios enable learners to train whenever they need to, practicing in virtual consultations, emergencies and procedures so they don’t risk lives in the real world.

Michael Wallace, CEO and co-founder of OMS, said:

“We see this funding as an opportunity to supercharge our growth and rapidly increase the number of healthcare professionals around the world who have access to our training.

“We want to enable nurses, doctors and allied healthcare professionals to do what they do with confidence and competence.

“We believe that by providing immersive, hyper-realistic training on a massive scale we can deliver better training to many more people and ultimately improve health outcomes for patients.”

The VR simulations allow many more healthcare professionals to be trained in a shorter space of time.

A conventional training centre will deliver around 200 simulations per month, while OMS recently delivered 6,000 sessions per month in one site alone, at a fraction of the cost.

A July 2022 report by the UK’s parliamentary health and social care select committee found that the NHS is facing the “greatest workforce crisis in their history”, with nearly 100,000 advertised vacancies as of September 2021.

Dr Nicolaus Henke said:

“Michael and his team are transforming the way healthcare training is delivered and experienced.

“Virtual simulation creates a better and more immersive training experience for learners, while at the same time freeing up very experienced senior nurses and doctors for important clinical and education leadership tasks.

“Not only do I see a broad market need for this technology in clinical education and training, but the opportunity to create a higher quality, more engaging training experience will be of enormous benefit to wider society”.

The company’s client base includes a number of NHS Trusts and universities as well as leading US universities, including John Hopkins University and Duke University, and several US health systems.

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