As AR/VR Technologies take a seat in different fields of our technological world, they also grab attention for healthcare perspective. Using AR/VR, we have much wider opportunities to treat the patients now. Brain diseases including ADHD and Alzheimer can be eluded with the novel methods that AR/VR brings to healthcare. Our spotlight guest this week is Virtuleap, which provides VR games for people with cognitive illnesses to treat them. Portugal based Virtuleap co-founder Amir Bozorgzadeh told us about their journey.
What is the name of your startup?
What is the website address of Virtuleap?
Where is your startup based?
Tell us what your startup does.
Virtuleap unlocks neuroscience with virtual reality to detect the early onset of cognitive illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease. We’ve created a library of VR games designed by our neuroscientists to evaluate a range of cognitive abilities and make that data accessible through our enterprise platform. We license our software to organizations like senior living communities and hospitals, with the AARP as our first paid client. We’re now working with leading institutions, like the Rockefeller University Hospital and the VA Health Care System, to apply our solution to address one of the most feared and most expensive diseases in the world: Dementia.
Tell us about your team.
We are a mix of scientists, game developers, and social impact entrepreneurs, most of whom have been working in the VR and AR sector for several years.
When and why did you found your startup?
We were researching user cognition and the human condition in VR and AR environments, studying the intersection of spatial computing with neuroscience and found that the embodiment of VR that triggers the autonomic nervous system, vestibular balance system, and proprioception, could all be leveraged to make major breakthroughs in terms of better understanding the mind, mapping the brain, and creating a new digital therapeutic to maximize and extend the quality of our lives.
What are your key and unique features?
Screen-based brain training apps like Lumosity have been pioneering in making the ‘gamification of cognitive science’ accessible to the masses and proving, albeit to a limited scope, that closed-loop games hold great promise in addressing cognitive illnesses, disorders, and learning challenges. However, they have yet to be proven to work.
What screen-based brain training apps lack is the involvement of the body. VR, on the other hand, triggers the autonomic nervous system, vestibular balance system, and proprioception into believing that the experience is real, which stands to take cognitive assessment and training to the next level and make the prospect of “far transfer” possible, i.e. so that brain training actually works in enhancing your daily life activities.
What is your growth like?
We have 5,000+ beta users and our first paid corporate client. We are in the process of integrating with VR healthcare and training distribution platforms like SyncVR (Europe), AppliedVR (US), Strivr (US), MyndVR (US), BehaVR (US), and Psious (Spain), which will allow their clientele of hospitals, clinics, senior living communities, companies, and organizations to purchase, subscribe, or license Enhance VR. We have so far won 2 startup and product awards in 2020.
Tell us about the numbers that matter to you.
Recurrent users and frequency of sessions.
What are your plans for next year and next 5 years?
We are growing the library of neuropsychological assessment tools into an exhaustive range of exercises while conducting studies with our research partners, and advancing the sophistication of the enterprise platform that enables organizations to empower the lives of their communities.
Did you receive any investments?
USD $784K in convertibles.
Tell us 3 startups that excite you, and why?
Kernel – creating bleeding-edge software and hardware to map the brain and establish more advanced approaches to BCI.
Mojo Vision – smart bionic lenses that can remove one layer of friction away from our digital interfaces.
Oculus – advancing spatial computing with exceedingly affordable, comfortable, and versatile standalone spatial computing devices.