The i3HS spinout company launched in 2019 by SHS colleagues Tony Payton and Martin Fergie, has been recognised by Mills & Reeve’s as being one of the top 20 most innovative companies in the North West.

Senior Lecturer in Healthcare Science, Dr Tony Payton and Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence, Dr Martin Fergie, launched VREvo – the i3HS spinout company in 2019 . The company is creating virtual and augmented reality simulations for higher education teaching as well as humanitarian software such as landmine detection. VREvo has so far won the UoM Innovation Factory Next Big Thing competition 2019, the Innovate UK iCURE competition 2020 and in December 2020, gained the Mills & Reeve’s, Top Tech North West recognition as being one of the top 20 most innovative companies in the North West.

The 2020 Top Tech competition attracted over 75 entries from NW tech firms, and were judged on factors including leadership, innovation, growth and community engagement. The judging panel included Richard Faulkner, managing director of technology banking, Silicon Valley Bank; Dr Kath Mackay, managing director of bioscience campus, Alderley Park and several directors from UK investment groups. The 20 selected companies will be promoted by Mills Reeve’s throughout 2021.

More information about the awards can be found online HERE.

What’s next for VREvo?

The company’s latest development is a VR simulation for optometry. This simulation will be a multiuser, interactive experience built using the Unity engine and including neural text to voice functionality. It will cover basic eye physiology as well as introduce students to common eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma, with approximately 1 hour of learning content per disease.

These will be accompanied by approximately 30 3D models and 360 degree videos, showing what the patient sees. Tony and Martin have recently (January 2021) been awarded additional funding by MICRA to convert the student focussed optometry simulation to be suitable for informing patients about their disease. NHS optometrists Paddy Gunn and Ros Creer will help coordinate the project at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, which will start in February 2021.

You can view a video of the VR optometry simulation at: