GigXR seeks to change medical education

Westchester-based GigXR Inc. uses HoloLens smart glasses from Microsoft Corp. to immerse students in simulated patient scenarios, in hopes of changing the way healthcare professionals are trained.

The company was founded in 2019 when a team of educators, nursing specialists and 3D designers came up with two products – HoloPatient and HoloHuman – that use mixed reality to create immersive training sessions.

HoloHuman is an atlas of human anatomy that uses life-size holograms to study different regions of the human body, while HoloPatient is an app that allows medical students to assess, diagnose, and treat patients through holographic simulations of different scenarios.

When accessing a lesson through HoloPatient, a student will see a hyper-realistic hologram of a patient that can be placed anywhere in the room. The student can then walk around the patient, assess their symptoms, diagnose them and decide on a treatment.
GigXR started running just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and took what could have been a major setback for the company and spun it around by building a remote layer.

In October 2020, GigXR released two apps – HoloPatient Mobile and gig Mobile – to iOS and Android stores to allow students to learn in a safe, socially distanced environment.


David King Lassman, the company’s founder, said that while the technology can be applied to a variety of industries, GigXR’s mission is to raise medical standards and transform the way medical students receive their education in medical settings. hospitals and medical and nursing schools.

Raising medical standards

The platform operates as a subscription service for medical schools, which have access to a variety of training courses and simulations.
Product licenses can range from $10,000 to six figures depending on the number of applications and users.

“We’re similar (to Netflix Inc.) in that a school will subscribe to our platform and then be able to choose from a growing catalog of apps that are on the platform,” Lassman said. “These apps are either built by us exclusively, or we build them in conjunction with large institutions like the University of Cambridge. Or they are built by third parties… This is valuable from an end-user perspective, because the user only needs one platform that manages all their credentials, logins, passwords, configuration sessions, content extraction in this type of flush and repeat . fashion.”

LA is a really big tech hub.

Lassman said the role simulation plays in training nurses and doctors is very important. Normally these types of lessons would be taught using corpses and other practice kits. The company entered the educational space at a time when cadavers were limited as fewer bodies were donated to medical research and practice manikins were too expensive for smaller schools to purchase, Lassman said.

“These are very expensive pieces of analog technology, and you need a big brick-and-mortar building to house all that technology. And if you’re a small provincial school, you might not have those resources at your disposal,” Lassman said. “So what mixed reality does is it gives schools and their students the opportunity to interact with simulation models, but at a lower cost.”

With the pandemic forcing students to learn from home, missing out on simulation training would hurt their education, Lassman said.
“If you’re a college student studying in your parents’ basement in Wyoming and your school is in Los Angeles, you can log into a lesson and you see all that content there in the room you’re in. as part of an instructor-led session,” Lassman explained. “Hearing your teacher through your device, being able to interact with your teacher, being able to interact with your peers.”

It’s not just about distance learning; Lassman described this teaching method as creating a “paradigm” where medical students on one side of the world can learn with students and teachers on the other side.

“When you start to think about the challenges faced by countries in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, like Uganda or Botswana, where there is a shortage of doctors who are kicked out of communities before they are sufficiently trained, where routine procedures in the West become life-and-death procedures there,” Lassman said. “If we can help train these doctors using tools like holographic content streamed through mixed reality , we can help raise the standards. This is how we will make a big difference.

local guidance

GigXR currently has 60 customers on four continents and hopes more schools and training hospitals in the Los Angeles area will become not just customers, but partners.
“Our customers will purchase licenses on our platform and subscribe to a set of apps to drive the school’s curriculum,” Lassman said. “A partner is a school, an institution that we strategically partner with to create content. They are commercial enterprises. We partner with a group like the University of Michigan School of Medicine. We create products, sell products and share revenue with them.

More recently, GigXR has partnered with the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to create holographic scenarios for common respiratory conditions and emergencies.

GigXR makes remote training easy.

“Partnering with GigXR allows us to create robust training without the heavy resource demands of traditional simulation, which can make immersive training financially prohibitive due to the costs of maintaining simulation centers, their equipment and the hours of faculty and staff to operate the labs and hire and train patient actors,” said Mary Archibald, director of operations at the Center for Surgical Training and head of medical education at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, in a statement.

Although it’s a global company, Lassman said he’s excited to expand to Los Angeles.
“We’re a platform, but we kind of tell stories through these scenarios, through these little vignettes that help students learn, and LA is the storytelling capital of the world,” Lassman said.

Lassman went on to explain that while Los Angeles used to be Silicon Valley’s “poor neighbor” when it comes to the region’s tech sector, that has changed recently.
“I’ve been in LA for 20 years now, and I’ve seen the tech scene evolve,” Lassman said. “I think more and more we’re saying to the world, ‘Hey, this is a really big tech hub.'”

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