AR surgery company raises £15 million in funding

London-based startup Touch Surgery has raised £15 million ($20 million) in funding for its AR surgery headsets.

The funding came from US venture capital firm 8VC, the company that invested in Oculus VR before it was later acquired by Facebook.

The headset, called Go Surgery, utilises the Microsoft HoloLens to give medical trainees a live video feed of a professional surgeon, which is overlaid with virtual guides and step by step instructions.

The latest round of funding brings Touch Surgery’s total amount raised to $30 million. The company was founded by two surgeons in 2013

Go Surgery is set to launch in 2018. The company hopes that it will be an early entrant into the medical VR/AR market, which is widely hyped as being an area where the technology can really improve training while also cutting costs.

Building momentum

The company has already released a successful app that provides users with video tutorials of hundreds of surgical procedures. Touch Surgery hopes that the release of Go Surgery will build on this momentum.

The app will be updated in the near future to allow users to utilise ARKit and use their iPhones or iPad’s to project recreations of surgery onto real-world scenarios.

The AR programme is currently undergoing testing in hospitals in the UK and US.

Company co-founder Dr Jean Nehme told The Telegraph:

“We found that tens of thousands of people were downloading the app. We started out trying to build a technology that we would use. We wanted to know how we could train and perform surgery better.

“It is early days for this technology but we are very bullish on how augmented reality and virtual reality are going to be key technologies in the operating room of the future.”

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