Half a million needed for medical device
Friday, March 9, 2007/
Using a virtual reality headset to help patients manage pain has had some impressive results, but its applications are much more far-reaching. By MIKE PRESTON.
By Mike Preston
Every Tuesday ‘Money Wanted’ features a new entrepreneur or inventor showcasing their products and services.
Entrepreneurs: Colin Carbis and Joe Mastro
Industry: Health care
To: Expand the number of therapeutic units and their use, both here and in new markets.
To watch Virtual Medicine’s elevator pitch, click here.
“It made me realise that when you take away the senses and bring people into a virtual world they will go where you take them,” Carbis says. He is a scientist and experienced practitioner of therapeutic hypnosis.
Virtual reality hypnosis (VRH) is an anxiety reduction therapy developed by Carbis and partner Joe Mastro, an IT specialist, through their company Virtual Medicine.
VRH works by immersing the patient in a therapeutic audiovisual world, Carbis says, conveyed through a headset placed over the eyes and ears. The patient is delivered into a virtual reality that they say is designed to reduce anxiety connected with injury, illness or addiction.
To this point the main use of the therapy has been to reduce the amount of morphine required by burns victims enduring painful wound dressing.
Carbis says that a pilot study at Melbourne’s The Alfred hospital showed that patients treated with VRH therapy required 30% less morphine during wound cleaning. A full clinical trial is now underway.
“We started in burns pain management because we wanted to test the therapy’s effectiveness in an extreme treatment environment and to obtain solid clinical data, but the technology has much wider applications,” Carbis says.
Work is being done to develop VRH therapy programs that will help people quit smoking and lose weight, with the smoking addiction program to be completed later this month.
The VRH units, which fit into a suitcase, are also being used for anxiety treatment in 10 GP, psychologist and psychiatrist clinics on a pay-per-use basis.
Mastro says that while some of these units have achieved strong results, with one clinic performing up to 30 treatments a week, others have been slower to take up the technology.
“Mixed results are inevitable at this stage of refining the product,” he says. “There is some ignorance about the technology and hypnosis in general, holding back usage.”
Virtual Medicine is seeking involvement from an investor with the business savvy to help drive the commercialisation of VRH and around $500,000 to contribute to the business.
The investor could be pivotal in helping Virtual Medicine expand into the massive US health market, where a pharmaceutical multinational has expressed interest in distributing VRH.
Carbis and Mastro believe the smoking and weight loss programs being developed have massive potential in the US market if handled correctly.
Money invested will be used to expand production of the VRH units, employ consultants with expertise in sales and marketing and fund further research and development.
Contact: Colin Carbis on +61 03 9495 0212.
For information on Federal Government grants and programs, click here.
Disclaimer: The “Money Wanted” service operated by SmartCompany.com.au Pty Ltd (ABN 23121200002) and its subsidiaries only seeks to showcase businesses with investors and does not recommend or guarantee any introductions or investment between participants. All SmartCompany.com.au Pty Ltd publications, including electronic publications, and meetings are subject to Class Order [02/273] issued in accordance with the Corporations Act 2001.
All information contained in SmartCompany.com.au Pty Ltd publications and presented at meetings has been prepared by, or on behalf of, the person or company proposing to issue or sell securities or scheme interests. SmartCompany.com.au Pty Ltd has not undertaken any independent review of this information and makes no recommendation or guarantee in relation to available business opportunities and does not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of information provided.
The information contained in SmartCompany.com.au Pty Ltd publications or presented at meetings regarding the proposed business opportunity and the securities or scheme interests that may be available is not intended to be the only information on which the investment decision is made and is not a substitute for a disclosure document, Product Disclosure Statement or any other notice that may be required under the Corporations Act 2001. Detailed information may be needed to make an investment decision, for example: financial statements, a business plan, information about ownership of intellectual or industrial property, or expert opinions including valuations or auditor’s reports.
A prospective investor should obtain further information about the proposed investment and the securities or scheme interests that may be issued or sold before applying for or buying those financial products. All requests for further information about a proposed investment and the relevant securities or scheme interest may be made to the issuer or seller (as the case may be).
All investment or assistance provided to businesses under the “Money Wanted” service provided freely by SmartCompany.com.au Pty Ltd is speculative and involves risk. Investment in new business carries high risks and is highly speculative. It is each participant’s responsibility to assess for themselves the nature and extent of that risk and all participants are strongly advised to seek appropriate professional advice before investing in any project or entering into any agreement for the issue or sale of any securities or scheme interests. No established market exists for the trading of any securities or scheme interests that may be offered.
All that glitters is not gold: The upsurge of paid followers and engagement on LinkedIn Sue Parker DARE Group founder
Webcams and monitored bathroom breaks: Why employee monitoring is counter-productive Ian Whitworth Scene Change co-founder
Locked and uploaded: How to take bricks-and-mortar stores digital with video Michael Langdon Levity director
Why retailers have no idea about the future Dean Salakas The Party People chief
There's only one way to attract and retain millennial talent — but it'll cost you a few bricks Lauren Lowe Future Fitouts co-founder
Advice for going green, from one chief executive to another James Chin Moody Sendle co-founder