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Business of Esports TV: VR Surgery

(Livestream 140)

In this segment, we discuss Osso VR spending $27M to develop a surgery game.

The Business Of Esports brings you news, debates, and all the information you need to know about the gaming sector, the world’s fastest-growing market. With Paul “The Profit” Dawalibi leading the charge, and a variety of special guests, BoE TV is the only place to find insider information on the esports industry!

Check out the full livestream here:

Paul Dawalibi 12:15
Let’s talk about gaming, intersecting with other things. I have a couple of stories where gaming is intersecting with other industries. And I think they’re interesting stories. And, and the first one here is this from TechCrunch. And the headline is Osso VR. Osso, I think it’s pronounced Osso VR raises 27 million to turn surgery into a video game, basically, and I sort of, I don’t love the wave. It’s already the the article starts kind of down on VR. The the author Lucas says virtual reality did not turn into the ultimate office replacement telepresence machine during the pandemic. And it wasn’t for lack of trying. But some startups focused on employee training and VR have found added validation, blah, blah, blah. So they’re talking about Osso VR, VR startup focused on medical training. And the idea here is that you will be able to train surgeons without having you know, to use corpses and other things, you know, other more other real life alternatives in terms of surgical training, and that they will be able to do it all in VR. This was a big round 27 million Series B, led by GSR Ventures Signal Fire, additional participation from Signal Fire Kaiser Permanente Ventures, Anorak Ventures, among others. So, pretty interesting. They’ve got some corporate VCs in there, like Kaiser Permanente. But we’re seeing gaming, and in this case, VR intersecting with health care in a very real way. anyone think this is a big trend? anyone think this will you know, who disagrees with even the beginning of this article, which is, you know, VR has sort of failed to solve the telepresence office telepresence problem.

William Collis 14:04
I don’t know if I disagree with that. I think if like, I think, like, if you think of a moment for VR to have a watershed, that’s not game driven. It was the COVID era, right? Like you had real need and you for people to have alternate solutions to have more emerge, like to have more communication and better richer communication from at home. Right. And you saw runs on people were going out and buying hardware to enable this there were like popular camera models for you know, like online learning were sold out. microphones were sold out, right, like, VR did not sell out, right? There wasn’t a run on the index, so people could use it for you know, so I, I agree that I think VR had a moment where it was called to see if it could be, you know, something valuable for at least if it was at some time now to be an immersive office software. And it didn’t answer right, I think. But that does not mean at all that VR doesn’t have Tons of awesome applicable use cases, training being one of them. I think it’s a good example. And I think this is a case where look like, it’s difficult to train doctors, right. And doctors make a lot of money. So anything that simplifies or reduces the resource costs to the training, there’s probably a high willingness to pay there on the other side. I think it makes sense. You know, like, I think this is sort of the thing where like, there’s a lot of trainings that get put into VR that I wonder about, but this one seems a bit more intuitive, particularly because people told me anecdotally, but like surgeons, like amateur, like, first year, med students come in now way better at, you know, basic surgery or basic surgical skills than they used to, because of games, right. Like, I think it’s well known in the medical industry that people have better hand eye because a lot of surgeons are coming in having game today. So I don’t know, it’s interesting, but it seems like there’s a real synergy there.

Jimmy Baratta 15:52

Paul Dawalibi 15:53
sorry. Go ahead. Jimmy.

Jimmy Baratta 15:55
I just wanted to add to that, and kind of just add two anecdotes that I had in my life, which I think are parallel as well, as, you know, when when YouTube was really on the up and up, I had a friend of mine that was in medical school, and he was working with some investors and creating a platform where they would film surgeries and put them on a shareable site like that. So to wilms point, you know, these med students that are coming in being a little bit more advanced, or you know, having that know how, additionally, and this is an in medical, but a friend of mine owns about 40, fully immersive VR rigs, you know, like those kind of like space pods that you hop into 20 of them in LA 20 of them in London, he has a deal with one of the history museums in Great Britain. And you can do one of those King Tut walkthroughs. And, you know, in Egypt, and I just, you know, I love seeing stuff like that, because it’s this application of essentially, what was gaming tech, but more so in history or in science. And so when I read this, I kind of disagreed with that first sentence. I mean, well, it’s hard, you know, because I know all of those VR rigs couldn’t be used during COVID because of health and safety issues. And because they were on alone here or there. And I think that that was more shot at the individual Oculus type units, right. But I all I wanted to say with my anecdotes was I’ve seen really awesome integrations or overlaps or what have you, in science in history in other areas, utilizing tech that essentially was created for gamers. And I think this is awesome. I can’t wait to see where it goes in five years.

Paul Dawalibi 17:23
There’s no question that the tech VR tech is good enough to to drive some of these applications like training surgeons, right. My question is, are there psychological barriers that remain? In other words,

Jimmy Mondal 17:35

Paul Dawalibi 17:36
Would you want to be operated on like, let’s say you had a serious surgery? Right? And and somehow you have you know, that before you go in for surgery, the doctor who’s operating on you, he or she trained entirely in VR, right?

William Collis 17:51
Yeah, that’s right.

Jimmy Mondal 17:52
There’s no

William Collis 17:53
I can see it now. Like, Oh, don’t worry, like Dr. John is a pro he has over 2000 hours in Surgeon Simulator. Like he’s good.

Jimmy Baratta 18:02
Suregon Simulator 3000

William Collis 18:04
Yeah, like, oh, like that’s like a pilot flying you who’s only ever flown in Microsoft, you know, like,

Paul Dawalibi 18:13
my view is that eventually that psychological barrier probably will disappear like 50 years from now I guarantee people won’t care that their surgeon only operated in VR before on on them because it it mentally I think will have been accepted. The question at do you guys feel there’s a big barrier today the Jimmy M maybe

Jimmy Mondal 18:34
I think there’s a barrier for the doctors themselves, right? Because I feel like there’s just a difference in what you’re operating on. You know, like the the tactile nature, I don’t want to go into descriptives. But there’s a lot so I think Yeah, like probably 90 10% would be great. Like, that’d be a great distribution. And I as a patient would feel comfortable with that when I was like, okay, he spent 2000 hours in surgeon simple 3000. And then the next, you know, 1000 hours doing real people like fine or whatever,

William Collis 19:03
but like to the flip side to like, there is a first surgery, right? Like, it’s not like every doctor goes into the market having done 10th out like there has to be a first one right? I guess if it’s going to be my doctor’s first surgery. I prefer that they’ve done 1000 hours in Surgeon Simulator, then like they’re just starting Good luck.

Paul Dawalibi 19:22
At least with VR, at least at the VR training. You could have a very detailed readout about your surgeon right like he’s time played 635 hours and scores. Like Like,

Jimmy Baratta 19:35
what clan is he in?

Jimmy Mondal 19:38
What do you do if you got your

Paul Dawalibi 19:43
weight? He didn’t get the like so him backup accomplishments. What he’s missing that, Dr. Lindsay? You’re gonna say something?

Lindsay Poss 19:53
Oh, yeah, I was just going to say that to William’s point. I don’t think anyone’s just goes in cold on their first surgery, I’m pretty sure there’s assistance for quite a bit from an experienced surgeon. So just so you know, William, if you ever have to get surgery, it’s not gonna be like their first rodeo all by themselves.

William Collis 20:10
But my point is my point, though, is I’d rather have them had the VR training in addition to everything else, right, rather. So it doesn’t have to be a substitution, it can just be another tool in a toolkit.

Lindsay Poss 20:23
Yeah, and I completely agree with and I think, even though it’s fun to make fun of the analytics they could receive, we all know that any feedback a computer gives is going to be vastly more accurate than a human feedback staring at it. So I mean, to be quite honest, I’d rather have robots doing my surgeries because the margin of error for robots there is quite slim. But if the best I can get as a robot training human how to do my surgery, then I suppose I’d take it.

Paul Dawalibi 20:49
It’s true. Owen says I think VR has a lot more growth to be done. I think some say it has failed because expectations were too high at launch, from marketing as well as consumer.

Jimmy Mondal 20:59

Paul Dawalibi 21:00
Who here thinks expectations as part of the problem with VR?

William Collis 21:03
Yeah, Gameboy VR was such a letdown. I’ve never

Paul Dawalibi 21:07
No, is it that like we were promised flying cars, and this is what we got? Like, is it that kind of effect? Does anyone think expectations are actually part of the problem?

Jimmy Baratta 21:16

Jimmy Mondal 21:16
maybe to some extent,

Jimmy Baratta 21:18
in the gaming world, I definitely have noticed that. I don’t know how that translates here to science. But I think that’s a great observation.

William Collis 21:25
I definitely

Lindsay Poss 21:26
I think that you first?

William Collis 21:29
Well, I definitely I think VR was marketed as like, when the first generation stuff was coming out is like, this is the watershed moment, right? Like it’s ready, it’s going to be immersive. And in some sense, I think maybe the displays were very good, even from the beginning. But I think VR taught us there was a bigger problem to be solved in just the displays. And I think the industry made such a big Wow, it is true when you put up your VR set it’s impressive. You definitely are like, oh, wow, this is different. Like, you’re ready. But the problem is there’s other gaps that hold it back. And I think the marketing was disingenuous about, hey, the displays are great, but we didn’t figure out how you should move.

Jimmy Mondal 22:07
Yeah, we didn’t tell you that you needed a nuclear generator in your backyard to be able to run this thing like 10 frames a second. Sorry, good luck.

Paul Dawalibi 22:17
Robert says I’ve created 3D stereoscopic visualization or suites. And VR is important for training the surgeons on neurosurgery for example. Wow, interesting. My surgeon would have to be ranked diamond at a minimum says Wade.

Jimmy Baratta 22:32
But you could get a discount at gold though.

William Collis 22:38
Those guys would just tell other guys we just held back by the other surgeons in their training guys.

Jimmy Mondal 22:42
I promise man, it wasn’t me. It was my team. It was my team

Jimmy Baratta 22:45

Paul Dawalibi 22:48
Robert says AR headsets have overlays for surgery such as carpal tunnel to advise through the operation that

Jimmy Baratta 22:53
I love that

Paul Dawalibi 22:54
See, that’s cool. Right? That is really cool. Robert also says developed in Unity, which is where the game architecture systems have such involved industrial and medical applications. No, like, no question. The medical applications I think are fascinating.

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