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AR healthcare platform targets US expansion

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A platform which uses augmented reality (AR), gameplay and artificial intelligence to deliver health information to young patients, is aiming to raise over £1.5 million to expand in the US.

Founded as a solution to the lack of quality information available to prepare children for hospitalisation, Xploro uses age-appropriate language and interaction paradigms to reduce stress and anxiety around treatments and improve clinical outcomes.

Featuring a user-centred design, tested by an Expert Advisory Board of twelve children with different experiences of hospitals, Xploro provides avatar chatbots, 3D interactive models of hospital environments and equipment and specific tools for parents and clinicians.

The Christie Hospital in Manchester was an early adopter of Xploro with children undergoing proton beam therapy cancer treatment, and now the company is building commercial relationships with several healthcare providers in the UK, Europe and the far east.

In January 2021, it was selected as the only company based outside of the US to take part in the first KidsX Accelerator programme, which supports early stage digital health companies to achieve product and business model validation in the paediatric market.

Xploro is now raising a significant seed round of £1.5m to build on its upcoming trials with specialist US children’s hospitals, including Boston Children’s Hospital, secured as a result of the KidsX programme and establish a formal presence in the US market.

This round follows a successful 12 months for Xploro, having  secured an eventual £75,000 in funding from Innovate UK in May 2020 to develop new functionality to improve the flow of feedback from patients to the medical teams looking after them.

In December, it secured £150,000 from GC Angels to expand its design and development teams in Manchester, aiming to grow its headcount from two to 16 by the end of 2021.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic threatened our funding round in March 2020, Jess and the GC Angels team’s enthusiasm in securing new investors to complete the round was pivotal, so we’re delighted that they’re supporting this latest round,” says Dom Raban, CEO and co-founder at Xploro.

“With an established presence in the UK and prospects in Europe and beyond, this funding will enable us to strengthen our presence in the US market and continue building the platform as we scale up globally.”

As an early-stage investor in Greater Manchester, GC Angels invests in businesses with high potential, working as co-investors and partners with private equity and venture capital, rather than in competition.

Jessica Jackson, head of investment at GC Angels, adds: “We are thrilled to have invested in Xploro at a crucial point in its inspirational journey delivering innovation in healthcare that is desperately needed by its users.

“It’s always rewarding to see disruptive tech businesses thriving while making a genuine social impact, and we’re looking forward to supporting Xploro as it reaches new heights in the US and beyond.”

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