Miron Bykov London - 29/07/2019
Today we spoke to Steve Dann co-founder of Medical Realities
Medical Realities was founded in 2016, it delivers high quality surgical training using virtual reality.
Tell me about the day the idea was born.
It all happened at an event in Google campus here in London, when I was fortunate enough to meet Professor Shafi Ahmed, who is a world-renowned colorectal surgeon but who also teaches surgery to medical students.
A conversation unravelled between us regarding the various challenges Prof. Shafi faces in teaching his students. Suddenly the idea of using virtual reality as the solution emerged. This conversation is what caused Medical Realities to grow roots.
What was the biggest turning point in the life of Medical Realities?
The turning point occurred when we began discussions with Barts Trust and the Royal London Hospital, who shared our vision. They didn’t just allow us to film an operation using our specialist 360° cameras but also gave us complete access to over 300 medical students who we could use as willing guinea pigs to try out the resulting module on VR headsets!
This was a huge success as it gave the opportunity for virtual reality to shine as a teaching and education aid, additionally allowing us to directly engage with students who would likely use it in the future and get their feedback.
Three top tips for aspiring entrepreneurs:
1. Find something that grabs you and makes a difference
2. Never give up
3. Surround yourself with the best people
What gets you out of bed every morning?
By helping in the education of future surgeons Medical Realities has an impact on patients. The more students and surgeons we can help, the more lives can be saved, making a huge impact on the world – this proves to be my main motivation.
What did you want to be when you were little?
I’ve always loved film, especially animation, and therefore I wanted to be an animator. I graduated into film and then computer animation which took me into Special Effects and then eventually into AR and VR technology. Looking back, it’s very interesting where life has taken me.
Favourite Disney character:
Easy – Mickey Mouse, you see it ties in with my love for animation.
Moreover, it isn’t just the fact that Mickey Mouse was one of the first break out cartoon characters, it’s also that such an innovative and successful company was able to be built on the back of this one unique character.
What is Medical Realities planning for the world next?
We are planning to do more live training operations in Virtual Reality as this has been a major success for us.
In addition, we are expanding our portfolio to provide more simulation scenarios into the training aspects of VR, this is where people can actually practice procedures in Virtual Reality.
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