Oxford Medical Simulation, a provider of virtual reality healthcare training, has raised a further £2.1 million.

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

OMS is a software platform that uses immersive VR simulations with AI-controlled patients to train healthcare professionals using hundreds of clinical scenarios. These scenarios let learners train whenever they need to, practising in virtual consultations, emergencies and procedures so they don’t risk lives in the real world. 

As well as enhancing training quality, these simulations also 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, whereas OMS recently delivered 6,000 sessions per month in one site alone, at a fraction of the cost.

Healthcare providers simply cannot train enough workers to keep up with demand. 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” and had nearly 100,000 advertised vacancies as of September 2021.

A recent report by McKinsey called the crisis a “gathering storm” and predicted that the US will face shortages of up to 450,000 registered nurses and 80,000 physicians by 2025. Studies suggest that pressures resulting from these shortages will also compromise the competency of newly trained staff, worsening the situation. 

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“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,” said Michael Wallace, CEO and co-founder of OMS.

“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 company’s client base includes a wide range of NHS Trusts and universities as well as leading US universities, including John Hopkins University and Duke University, and several US health systems. OMS will use this latest funding to rapidly expand its product offering across healthcare education and practice, and to scale its US expansion. 

Tim Mills, managing partner at ACF Investors, commented: “Oxford Medical Simulation is providing state of the art, immersive training which uses emerging VR and AR technology to tackle the global healthcare worker shortage head-on. 

“The team has already achieved some fantastic results – as seen in the company’s growth momentum and the quality of its customer base. It is, quite rightly, a demanding customer base, but they have shown the potential to ensure we all have access to highly trained healthcare professionals in the future.”

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