Ghost Productions Virtual Reality – FAQ

Nic Widerhold wearing a VR headset with the Ghost Productions logo on it

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How much does it cost to make a medical VR program?

The short (and dirty) answer: A medical VR surgical simulation will probably cost between $75,000 and $100,000.

The accurate answer: Depending on the complexity of the program needed to simulate the function of your technology and the features you want us to develop, the price can vary greatly. But if you are like most of our clients, you probably need to simulate the medical procedure associated with your tools, devices, implants, or medication. If the procedure is pretty straight forward, has few steps, requires a limited degree of tissue simulation and dynamic anatomy augmentation, such as suturing and stretching of soft tissues, the cost will likely be much lower.

If you need special features like analytics to test and record a user’s capabilities or advanced collaboration tools like remote telepresence placing both a sales rep and a physician in the same virtual operating room, your price will likely be higher.

Send us your surgical technique manual or medical procedure guide and we will give you an estimate that will produce a VR solution that achieves your goals.

How how is medical VR content distributed and accessed?

A Wraith VR surgical training program can run on any high-end PC with compatible ports and video card, and an Oculus Rift S virtual reality headset. Though our software will run on many other platforms, we’ve found that the hardware listed here provides a solution that is robust, reliable, and easy to setup and use.

The application files themselves are small enough to transfer easily over the internet or accessed from cloud based file servers. Even a highly detailed VR knee surgery simulation uses less than 6 gigabytes fitting easily on thumb drives and downloading in a matter of minutes.

The availability and cost of high quality virtual reality hardware makes VR more affordable and accessible than ever before. If this trend continues, VR hardware capable of functional surgical simulation will become commonplace in hospitals, doctor’s lounges, training centers, and even in the homes of private physicians around the globe. Until then we offer the WraithStation and the WraithStation Portable.

The WraithStation is a heavy-duty VR workstation capable of the highest quality graphics rendering and a liquid cooled for sustained peak performance. Designed for multiple users and continual operation at tradeshow booths, surgery centers, medical schools, and anywhere healthcare workers may need to access simulation based training. The WraithStation functionally serves the needs of an entire workforce through two highly advanced VR headsets, and UV+O₃ sterilization system that ensure hygenic use when shared by multiple users.

For outbound sales representatives we offer the portable version of the WraithStation. Weighing in at only 20lbs and shipped or transported easily in the optional ruggedized case, the WrathStation Portable adds a virtual operating theater to your sales force. Simply plug the VR headset into the VR capable laptop computer and within seconds your product demonstration now includes a guided hands-on simulation with a virtual patient with the ideal pathology. Or, ship out the portable with a self-running experience so that all your customers have access to the best demonstration and training programs possible.

How much does medical VR capable hardware cost?

The short answer: As little as $2400.

Medical VR programs will run well on the majority of modern high-end PC computers armed with a reasonable graphics processing unit (GPU). The configurations we documented here will provide the ideal experience for medical VR and surgical simulations when running Wraith VR. We’ve found capable systems in both portable and workstation formfactors that cost $2000-$3200.

VR headsets that are capable of the robust features and quality needed for highly functional medical VR and accurate surgical simulation cost $400. This, in our opinion is an exceptionally affordable price for the benefits and capabilities it delivers.

How long does it take to make a medical VR program?

Our AGILE development methodology usually produces a minimum viable product (MVP) in as little as two weeks from the signed proposal. Once that is in your hands for initial testing, we take your feedback and use it to develop a second version of your VR program. Each development cycle, called a Sprint, is short and focused and always results in a viable version of the needed product. Depending on the scope of your product and the complexity of the features needed to accomplish your goals, this could take as few as three weeks or several months to deliver a VR program worthy of being called version 1.0.

What's the difference between VR/AR/MR?

VR: Virtual reality is primarily used to describe a technology designed to completely immerse the user/player in a computer generated environment. The more advanced the technology, the less likely the user will be able to tell the difference between reality and virtual reality. The leading names in VR are currently Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

AR: Augmented Reality is a blending of reality with elements of computer generated content. One of the most popular augmented reality examples can be seen on millions of smartphones running Pokémon Go. As far as medical applications go, the technology is currently in its early development stages but the potential is substantial. Our experiments with Microsoft’s HoloLens has allowed us to see significant opportunities in surgery, emergency medicine, nursing, and nearly every other healthcare related profession where immediate access to visual and auditory information could improve patient outcomes.

MR: Mixed Reality was initially described as a technology that added a front facing camera to a VR headset so that the user could see the real-world environment and computer generated content without taking off the headset. The other benefit these units provided was using the front facing cameras provided was to track the hand controllers making complex external camera setups unnecessary. These capabilities that made MR special are now being added to 2nd generation VR tech making the term, “mixed reality.” somewhat meaningless.

Is there any circumstance where you will work for free?

We produce a medical VR programs in trade for a special combination paper and green ink on what is generally referred to as legal tender, AKA money. Other forms of compensation are much use to us as we still have to pay our bills using the same legal tender mentioned above. So even if you could offer us a living unicorn, alternative compensation, or even, “great exposure,” we can’t help you.

If you die in virtual reality do you also die in reality?

No, but if you die in real life while in virtual reality your avatar will likely appear as a creepy ragdoll with elongated limbs. So far there has only been one recorded VR related death when a 44 year old Moscow resident died from apparent blood loss after smashing through a glass table while playing a game in virtual reality. So, important note room-scale VR requires a play area free from sharp objects, bear traps, and deadly furniture.

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