Virtual reality for healthcare finds a new home at XR Lab in Surrey

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      When virtual reality first entered the mainstream, creators placed their bets on gaming. Hundreds of new studios popped up around the world to cater for platforms such as Playstation VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift. A few years on, however, companies have realized how the technology can extend far beyond videogames. Focusing their attention on transforming everything from retail shopping to mining, developers are now creating apps to revolutionize the most important areas of society.

      One of those is healthcare. Programs that use virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality technology (collectively called XR) are currently being adopted into medical services. Individuals who have recently suffered a stroke, for instance, can train themselves to move their limbs again with the headsets, surgeons can practice operations with virtual scalpels, and those who live with vision impairment can magnify objects in order to see them. Able to touch a range of different conditions, XR has the capacity to advance medicine into a new era.

      Many Metro Vancouver companies have already established themselves as leaders in creating new healthcare technology. That hasn’t gone unnoticed by the District. A collection of high-tech buildings adjacent to the Surrey Memorial Hospital, the District houses medical professionals, university campuses, and entrepreneurs specializing in healthcare. Partnering with local virtual reality businesses Conquer Experience and Stambol Studios, the District has created a new space for an XR Lab, where companies can develop and test their medical technology prototypes.

      “We are pleased to partner with the Health and Technology District and Conquer Experience to showcase our mixed reality technologies and applications related to the District,” says Dogu Taskiran, CEO of Stambol Studios. “Immersive mixed reality technologies can provide creative solutions and bring to life various environments that benefit a variety of industries, including healthcare. We look forward to creating applications that will further innovate the health and wellness space utilizing various exponential technologies.”

      The XR Lab will offer the chance for companies to get access to virtual reality demos, share spaces and facilities, and get involved with workshops and programs. By operating under the umbrella of the District, companies within the Lab have the chance to network with others in the healthcare industry, and collaborate to create new ideas.

      The XR Lab opens tomorrow (May 10) in conjunction with the second District building, named City Centre 2.

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