Earlier this month, the city of Surrey announced the start of the Innovation Boulevard and Health Tech Connexx (HTC), an incubator that will provide lab spaces and services to those in the tech industry seeking solutions for real-world problems.
The first company to join this innovative collective is Vancouver-based Conquer Mobile, best known for their collaboration with GenomeDX and NGRAIN.
Upon joining HTC, Conquer Mobile’s goal is to develop virtual reality simulation for medical experts practicing their craft of lifesaving. Conquer Mobile and other companies that will join HTC will work with Kwantlan Polytechnic University to help advance the technology and education in the medical field.
“Innovation Boulevard offers a space for high-technology companies to get together, to create a critical mass—of over a hundred,” Aaron Hilton, CTO and co-founder of Conquer Mobile told Techvibes. “This critical mass is really important because it allows meet-ups, group activities and anything else like that to be convenient for everybody. We can all start trading ideas with each other and have a rich mix of surgeons, nurses, trainers and the whole structure of health care plugged in with the high-tech people.”
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Conquer Mobile and the other companies that will join HTC are projected to be moving into the newly built office and lab spaces in the spring of 2014. Until then Conquer Mobile continues to develop innovative solutions to problems in the medical field and the most pertinent one is applying virtual reality to help and educate doctors, surgeons and other medical professionals as they prepare for high-risk procedures.
“We are trying to avoid the bubble-think phenomenon,” said Hilton. “If you search for the same stuff, you’ll only know a certain amount—you don’t really get a broad understanding of it. Our objective with the simulation and training is to test your limit. We need to know the broad stuff. You can’t just think about the ordinary. When things go smoothly, that’s great. That’s basic training. But what happens if you knick a vain and the patient is bleeding? What do you do—right away? You need to get everyone on the same page.”
An overwhelming amount of medical professionals are now relying on technology to improve their practice. Hilton suggested that all doctors and surgeons today are using iPads to perform their duties. Of course iPads are a consumer product, nothing too special. With technology more accessible to patients than ever, many of those with ailments are diagnosing themselves or meeting the doctors with great knowledge—but with untrained errors.
“[Educated patients] is just a reality doctors have to deal with,” said Hilton. “Not all your patients are idiots and you’ll have to keep up. It’s kind of interesting, the next generations of doctors are going to start leveraging tools.”
As HTC and Surrey’s Innovation Boulevard prepares for accommodation, Hilton is welcoming innovators and virtual reality enthusiast to Vancouver VR, an event showcasing new virtual reality gears and opening dialogue about the future of digital health.