Osso VR CEO Justin Barad on VatorNews podcast

Steven Loeb · September 17, 2021 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/5314

Osso is a platform that allows surgeons to practice their skills in a virtual environment

Steven Loeb and Bambi Francisco speak with Justin Barad, CEO and co-founder of Osso VR, a platform that allows surgeons to practice their skills in a virtual environment.

The Osso platform is used by both fully trained surgeons who are out of practice, as well as by surgeons who are early in their career, both of whom are trying to either master newer technologies or refresh themselves on procedures they perform infrequently. To use Osso, they just need a headset that they can use either in between surgeries, or at home, to perform whatever procedure they need to. Once they're done, they get an assessment of their workflow, their ability to do steps well with clinical satisfaction, and their efficiency. 

Surgeons can train by themselves, or they can do so with their team, including a surgical tech, circulating nurse, and radiology technician; they can also get coaching from experts all around the world who can give them tips and tricks.

The company recently announced a $27 million round of funding from GSR Ventures, Signalfire, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, OCA Ventures, Scrum Ventures, Leslie Ventures and Anorak Ventures, brings its total funding to $43 million. 

Our overall goal with these podcasts is to understand how technology is radically changing healthcare: the way we screen, treat and measure progress and outcomes. How we’re empowering the consumer. Whether we’re creating productivity that drives economic costs down? And how tech advancements change the role of the doctor.

  • The idea for Osso came from when Barad was doing his training in orthopedic surgery: he had the opportunity to train in some of the top hospitals in the world, and he'd be asked to Google a procedure even after the patient was under anesthesia. Some of the challenges include there's too much to learn, as science and technology have expanded the library of procedures surgeons are expected to know, and modern surgery ave become more complicated.   
  • Technology brings value to healthcare, while also bringing new problems. In one case, a friend of Barad's who performs robotic surgery multiple times a week, had the software update overnight, so he had to call tech support in the OR to figure out how to perform the surgery. It happened too fast for anyone to be trained in the new technology.
  • A study done at UCLA found that training and accessing in Osso VR, when compared to more traditional training, improved performance by 230%, or 10 points. Another study found that with traditional training 25% of a group was able to complete a procedure without needing an expert to step in and help; with Osso VR, that went up to 78%.  
  • Part of what has allowed Osso to get that point are advancements in VR technology, where the cost has gone down, you don't need a computer to run it, and you no longer need sensor towers. That increased accessibility and equity of the technology happened quickly. 
  • Some of Osso's designers come from Industrial Light & Magic, Apple, Disney, and Microsoft. People on its team supervised the first ever Oscar that was awarded for a VR film, and have been on Emmy winning teams. 
  • Osso is not replacing the in-person training component, but rather repositioning it on the learning curve. Surgical training requires a lot of equipment, including a cadaver, a facility, a surgical table, and instrumentation, adding up to a lot of time and cost. In addition, surgeons will forget 90% of what they learned within a week, while the actual surgery will happen months after that training. With Osso, they can spend several weeks in VR, making the final in-person training the final piece, rather than the entirety of their training.
  • There are two branches at Osso: the educational division, where it creates its own content, and that's geared toward earlier learners. The company partners with the leaders in education for that specialty, who will prioritize the list of procedures they think are important. The other side is working with tech companies, asking them what procedures are most challenging for them educationally and where they see the most difficulty in adopting their technology.
  • The company started in orthopedics but is now in cardiac, vascular, thoracic surgery, urology, and gastroenterology. 
  • The company's main customers are medical device companies. It has 16 medical device companies currently, including Johnson & Johnson, most of the leading device companies within orthopedics. They're licensing the platform and working with Osso to customize procedures so they're specific to their technologies. 

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Justin Barad

Joined Vator on

Justin is an orthopaedic surgeon with with an MD from UCLA where he graduated first in his class. He completed his residency at UCLA and his fellowship at Harvard. He has a background in software and gaming and has been a lifelong coder.