Oxford VR is developing evidence-based automated psychological treatments using immersive virtual reality (VR). The company treats patients with a variety of mental health conditions – like fear of heights or psychosis – by creating virtual scenarios in which psychological difficulties occur.
Professor Daniel Freeman launched OxfordVR as a University of Oxford spin-out, with funding and support from Oxford University Innovation and Oxford Sciences Innovation They raised seed funding in 2017 with a further funding round in August 2018.
The latest round was led by Optum Ventures and supported by Luminous Ventures. Also participating in this investment round are existing investors; Oxford Sciences Innovation, Oxford University Innovation and GT Healthcare Capital Partners.
This capital infusion will enable the company to accelerate US expansion of our evidence-based automated VR therapy solutions. Furthermore, we will continue to expand our treatment pipeline.
Along with this investment Ash Patel, Principal at Optum Ventures, is joining the Oxford VR Board of Directors. He said: “Oxford VR has taken a technology-led approach to create evidence-based solutions that will make treatment more accessible to patients who need it. We believe Oxford VR’s solutions will benefit those who need access to high quality, effective cognitive behavioural therapy”.
Oxford VR has two main projects underway – one on acrophobia (fear of heights) and the other called GameChange. Its VR-enabled cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for acrophobia is now available through NHS clinicians in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Bristol (Oasis Talking Therapies), Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
The £4 million GameChange project is being run in partnership with the University of Oxford and the UK National Institute of Health Research. It is a multi-site trial of the VR programme to help those with psychosis overcome the day-to-day anxieties such as doing the shopping, speaking to other people and getting on the bus.