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Clinical researchers working in a lab

Medlab Clinical prescribes mixed reality pandemic response

Microsoft mixed reality solution using Dynamics 365 Remote Assist on HoloLens 2 helps Medlab combat geographical challenges with remote collaboration

Microsoft is delighted to announce that Medlab, an ASX-listed biotechnology company with a portfolio of novel medicinal candidates enhanced by its delivery platform and used for the treatment of chronic pain and disease  has selected Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist on HoloLens 2 to support the critical work underway in its specialist laboratories through the power of mixed reality.

The highly innovative company operates globally to find new ways of addressing some of the biggest health challenges of our time with offices in the UK, US and Australia. In Sydney it operates a state-of-the-art Physical Containment Level 2 Laboratory (PC2 Lab) certified by the Department of Health’s Office of the Gene Technology Regulator.

Prior to the pandemic, local and international experts had to travel to the Laboratory to collaborate on clinical trials and research projects. Travel restrictions grounded those lab visits and prompted Medlab to accelerate its adoption of mixed reality solutions including HoloLens 2 head-mounted devices, with Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, creating a mixed reality environment to maintain critical business continuity despite the ongoing global pandemic.

Mixed reality has not only enabled Medlab to maintain international collaboration amongst doctors, research professors and lab technicians, but has also greatly helped accelerate Medlab’s progress and boosted the skills of local technical personnel who can now quickly access remote experts around the world using HoloLens 2.

Ian Curtinsmith, Medlab’s Chief Information Officer said that following a successful proof of concept Medlab has now deployed HoloLens 2 devices equipped with Dynamics 365 Remote Assist in both its Australian and US operations. Medlab expects to invest in more HoloLens 2 devices as the business expands.

Curtinsmith said; “I believe augmented reality is here to stay.The benefits of overlapping the virtual and physical worlds are hard to ignore.

“Quality, efficacy, efficiency, safety, collaboration and training, as well as better access to subject experts – all increased. Costs and resource constraints decreased. What’s not to like?”

Having transitioned to cloud some years ago, Medlab was able to rapidly pivot to a work from home model for many of its staff. However, laboratory staff needed the extra support of mixed reality to continue with essential work in Medlab’s physical lab environments.

Medlab has manufacturing partners around the world and is undertaking time-sensitive Phase 3 clinical trials. To ensure those proceed in a timely manner, Dynamics 365 Remote Assist on HoloLens 2 has “Allowed Medlab to put any one of our staff globally, virtually into our PC2 lab or a manufacturing partner’s lab,” said Curtinsmith.

“A Professor could talk to the technician in our lab – physically see the results as they happened, provide advice or just simply monitor to provide oversight,” he added. If reference material needed to be shared it could be easily done using Dynamics 365 on the HoloLens 2 so both parties can simultaneously see the same information displayed in real-time, despite potentially being thousands of kilometres away from one another.

Curtinsmith said that the business case for mixed or augmented reality might previously have been largely economic and environmental – allowing Medlab to save the cost of domestic and international flights and as a result reducing its carbon footprint. Pre-COVID the team had been travelling internationally six or seven times to present at conferences and join projects, plus the few dozen trips between labs in Australia each year.

The pandemic however offered a unique opportunity to use mixed reality to actually catapult the business forward. One of Medlab’s patented discoveries is a delivery platform called Nanocelle that can be applied across small molecules, large molecules and textiles Instead of having to wait until an expert or international partner was available to oversee manufacturing protocols– now, it is much easier to schedule just an hour or two on a HoloLens 2 device while ensuring quality production.

Lawrence Crumpton, Mixed Reality Lead, Microsoft Australia said: “The groundbreaking work that Medlab is engaged in is too important to face any source of interruption. Dynamics 365 Remote Assist on HoloLens 2 and mixed reality in general have demonstrated a completely new way of working that maintains business continuity while saving on operational costs – but most importantly, it also allows more efficient access to experts anytime, from anywhere.

“Because people no longer need to travel long distances to collaborate Medlab is experiencing an improvement in speed to market as well as significant upskilling of its technicians who can now access experts more readily.”

Two lab professionals collaborating with a HoloLens
MedLab invested in Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 with Dynamics 365 Remote Assist to connect staff globally and virtually. (Source: MedLab)
Clinical professional wearing the HoloLens at his desk
Despite borders closed, lab technicians are able to upskill completely virtually (Source: MedLab)
Image of HoloLens in a clinical lab
Medlab expects to invest in more HoloLens 2 devices equipped with Dynamics 365 Remote Assist as the business grows. (Source: MedLab)

About Medlab Clinical

Medlab Clinical is an Australian based medical life science company, developing therapeutic pathways for diagnosed chronic diseases. It is advanced in developing therapies for pain management, depression and obesity as well as nutritional products in Australia and the United States. In pain management Medlab is developing cannabis-based medicines. Medlab has a growing patent portfolio including a nano-particle medicine delivery system, NanoCelle™ that is being applied to its medicines, nutritional products and off-patent pharmaceuticals like statins.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Rudolf Wagenaar, Commercial Communications Lead, Microsoft Australia

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: 043 908 2550

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