The use of virtual reality in healthcare

A University College London (UCL) group working with Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children has developed an innovative virtual reality platform to improve the understanding of anatomy and physiology of patients.

VheaRts is an extended reality platform designed to improve personalised healthcare, medical training, and higher education. VheaRts offers immersive solutions for transforming medical images into interactive environments and visualising treatment simulations.

The Challenge

University College London required a market study to provide information to guide the commercialisation strategy for their novel virtual reality platform. The research addressed the potential global market for the technology.

Specifically, UCL were interested in understanding the market size and potential demand for virtual reality in general, and their technology in particular, together with key competitor intelligence.

The academic and enterprise team at the University also wanted to consider the attractiveness of the virtual reality sector both in the immediate and long-term as well gaining insight into the barriers to entry. They also wanted a detailed understanding of how the use of VR and AR in the healthcare market is evolving.

The Approach

Accelerate conducted both primary and secondary research.

To provide the depth of information required for the VheaRts study Accelerate interviewed clinicians in a range of surgical specialties. These included Cardiac, Cardiothoracic, Colorectal, Paediatric, Oral, Maxillofacial and Urology Surgery as well as Orthopaedics and Trauma.

Accelerate also completed interviews with industry representatives and medical educators from U.K universities to provide a complete picture of the use of virtual reality in healthcare in these sectors. Information was also gathered from circa 70 NHS Trusts on their current use of virtual and augmented reality.


“As an academic transferring knowledge into the real world for the first time, working with Accelerate Associates was incredibly formative. Katherine Bourne and Philippa Bevan passionately engaged with our ideas and provided us with the key information needed to support the early commercialisation study of VheaRts.”


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