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September 16, 2022: Crazy today. Obvious tomorrow. That’s the perfect way to sum up technology. Victory XR just announced its partnership with Meta. Steve Grubbs, CEO, of Victory XR shares their goal of bringing a more immersive way for students to learn through virtual and augmented reality. 'Metaversities’. Educators are given training and 3D objects to teach a variety of subjects to their students. The best part? Students’ grades go up. Student focus goes up. Student enjoyment goes up. What is the promise around this virtual education? Why have we now reached a tipping point in this type of technology? What does the experience look like for a teacher? What does it look like for a student? Will the metaverse change healthcare?

Key Points:

  • The jump from the internet to the metaverse will be similar to the jump from radio to television
  • In the metaverse, healthcare students can train on the hospital equipment over and over and over again whereas in the real world access would be limited.
  • We are trying to get the whole education and workplace training universe to think about the Fortnite generation who are now entering higher education
  • Victory XR

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Today on This Week Health.

What I'm trying to get the whole higher education and workplace training and education universe to, think about is the fortnight generation is now coming into higher education and into the workplace. we can take this generation and force them into the old ways but I have a feeling that the new ways are going to emerge and a lot of that is immersive. In an AR VR PC computer sort of way, or it is socially kinesthetic gamified. if we can meet them where they're at, I think we're going to be more successful with training and also for having strong employees and happy employees.

Thanks for joining us on This Week Health Keynote. My name is Bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of This Week Health, a channel dedicated to keeping health IT staff current and engaged. Special thanks to our Keynote show sponsors Sirius Healthcare, VMware, Transcarent, Press Ganey, Semperis and Veritas for choosing to invest in our mission to develop the next generation of health 📍 leaders.

All right. Today, we are going to delve into a really fun topic. As a former CIO for a health system. One of the things I used to do is I used to work on the stuff that was right in front of me, but I keep an eye on technologies that were right around the corner. And then technologies that I saw was emerging.

I was constantly looking at what are people doing with them? What is it what's going on and whatnot. And today I'm excited to have Steve grubs, the founder. Of Victory XR XR. Sure. Yes. Victory XR. I wanted to say universities, but that's not the name of the company. The name of the company is victory XR. Meta universities is what you're actually putting together. Steve looking forward to the conversation. Thanks for joining us.

Thank you bill I'm ready to go.

the topic for today is really the changing face of education with the metaverse coming onto the scene, the immersive world that is this virtual reality world. Talk to us a little bit about victory XR. How did you start this? Why did you start this?

Yeah, so I come from an education background, but I was never a school teacher. So I served in the Iowa legislature as chair of the education committee. And when you're chair of an education committee, you have a lot of people presenting the problems with education to you and you're searching for solutions.

And we tried a lot of things. I wrote the. State technology bill and a couple of other things. But one thing that I came to conclude is you can do a lot in education, but whether you're an adult or a child what really makes it easy to learn is if you love it. Right? So for example, I love to cook so I can watch, I can watch Ted on the food network and I can remember everything and I can go in and I can do it.

Other people love to fish. Other people. Painting. And when you love it, you remember it, you retain it, you learn it, you can execute on it. And so I thought about that for a long time. And then I ran into virtual reality and I found a way that we could present learning to students in a way that love, love to learn and not just kids adults as well.

College students and on and on. So if people will, if we can present learning in a way that's interesting that presents all the data they need, but also in a kinesthetic hands on way, that's fun and enjoyable. Then why wouldn't we pursue that

you're engaging all the aspects of learning in this. Yeah. Right. So it's not just auditory it's. I mean, you're, you're actually engaging with the material. I'm reminded of two things, as you're sort of talking about this one is we're constantly trying to pry these technology tools out of our kids' hands and say get out in the world and that kind of stuff. But the reality is. By allowing them to utilize these tools and get in there. It really is an opportunity to have them engaged the way they are used to engaging at this point. They're really, they're digital natives. They're used to engaging in this way and they almost want to be engaged at that level. I would think in order to, get their attention and gain their attention.

Yeah. What I'm trying to get the whole. Higher education and workplace training and education universe to, think about is the fortnight generation is now coming into higher education and into the workplace.

And so we can take this generation and force them into the old ways, but I have a feeling that the new ways are going to emerge and a lot of that is immersive. In an AR VR PC sort of computer sort of way, or it is socially kinesthetic gamified. And so if we can meet them where they're at, I think we're going to be more successful with training and also for having strong employees and happy employees.

Well, the other thing I'll say is I remember as a kid, I went to a smaller school with not a lot of money and they would say, Hey, we're gonna do a field trip to Bethlem steel, and we're gonna see how steel is made and all this other stuff. And we used to look forward to that for months until we could actually go there or, Hey, we're finally gonna be able to dissect a frog and we're finally gonna do that in two weeks or three weeks, and you'd look forward to that kinda stuff.

And that's the kinda stuff that you really reduce the amount of cost. And just make that happen. You can make that happen pretty quickly.

Yeah, for me, for us, it was the wonder bread factory. And every kid got to leave with a loaf of white bread or whatever, whatever that was worth. So yeah. You know what we have like over 200 field trips, some are history, some are science some are job shadow.

And in like the workplace training, we have OSHA training videos and all that kind of thing. So, so yeah, if you can, like, imagine you're learning about the history of China, right. And you wanna understand the relationship between the Mongols and the Chinese and the great wall. Well, it's one thing to read about it.

You can even watch a movie about it, but if you're standing on the great wall, And you look up and you see the sky, you see the birds flying, you look down and you see the mortar that you're standing on. You look all around, you see the great wall and how it extends. And you see over this way where the Mongols would come in and on this side where the Chinese, it just makes learning. What we know from studies is that retention is significantly higher when people learn that.

Why now? What's going on? Have we reached the tipping point in the culture or have we reached the tipping point with regard to the technology?

I would say technology largely. And I like to refer back to when we transitioned from radio to television radio. Was this first digital way that people could hear the same thing and have communication nationwide, but then television was a much richer experience. And so it took over very rapidly and televisions advanced from where they were in the 1950s to where they are today.

That same transition from the internet to the metaverse is a very similar transition. And so the metaverse provides a much richer experience with a lot more input. And I think what we're going to see is a similar transition to what we saw in the forties and fifties with television.

it's interesting when you say that because the transition when we see pictures going back and we see people sitting around a radio, we just sort of laugh today. I mean, we look at it, we're like, what were they, what were they doing? They'd sit around as a family. That's how we sort of look at them in the TV generation, but I wonder how the VR generation is gonna look back at us, sitting around watching TV in sort of a 2d model. And they're probably gonna look at it and go I can't believe that's the way they consumed entertainment

Yeah. What what's interesting is that what we will see over the next five years, a transition from a PC, a computer, like I have in front of me right now to glasses and I'll have these glasses on and I'll be able to interact with the world that way. And in some instances it'll have a larger profile where it sits on my head and it's more immersive.

So that's what we're going to see. And I think. What we say in our company is crazy today. Obvious tomorrow, meaning what people, I explain this vision to them and they just say, I just can't see it. And then seven years from now, they'll say, yeah, that what was the big deal? And so I, and I also like to talk about the New York times editorial that came out 60 days before the Wright brothers flew their first plane and some other guy tried to get a plane off the ground. He'd been funded by the federal government. He was the big deal and his effort at flight was a huge flop. And so the New York times road editorial saying, we should stop focusing on this.

This is a waste of time, man will not fly for 10,000 years. And literally 60 days later, the Wright brothers got the first plane off the ground. And so what we know is sometimes it just seems hard to believe it seems challenging, but visionaries under can see the future. And then it's just a matter of how do you implement that future so that it's safe and productive

Well, yeah, I mean, we can go down that path, because I'd love to know like, why isn't the university of Michigan? Why isn't Ohio state? Why aren't they developing this? I mean, they have the resources, they have the content and all those things. They could really head it in that direction.

I mean, I know they're not structured potentially to do that or to create. Entities that compete with them. Maybe they'll just let the technology emerge and then they will adopt the technology as a future for their learning platform.

University of Michigan and Ohio state are actually both more advanced than most schools in this. They're not at the level of Morehouse college, but they are fairly advancing what they're doing. So universities are making that attempt, but you know, mostly it's a matter of speed and I don't think anybody at any university would suggest they move with a lot of speed in the private sector. Obviously we do move with speed and it's, and you're rewarded if you move with speed. And so that's one of the reasons we've been success.

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I just did a news day episode with somebody and we were talking about the company, boom. I dunno if you're familiar with them, but they're bringing back supersonic travel.

And one of the comments from the CEO was Boeing could do this and the others could do this, but the reality is having a Greenfield scenario. I don't have to worry about. Digging into my production line or and all the other things that I have to keep going, he goes, I could just focus on solving the problems of supersonic travel, the wasteful use of fuel and other things.

He goes, so we'll solve those problems. And then eventually. They will they will come into that space. So I like what you're saying. Here's where I'd like to go. I'd like to go into the practical. What does this look like? Kind of thing. What does the experience look like for the teacher?

What does it look from concept of all right. We're gonna do this curriculum over the next couple of months. I would like to start to bring in aspects of this. What does that look like for.


So I can only speak from the standpoint of VictoryXR and chalk bites, but here's what it looks like for our educators. we have both asynchronous and synchronous, which is education jargon, but individual versus a group. So for an individual it's very much like Netflix, you can put on your headset and you can call up whatever you wanna learn. Quick, download it and experience frog dissection, or a field trip to Iceland or a NGSS science lesson with Wendy Martin.

Our science teacher, one-on-one student puts it on work at their own pace It's just like watching a movie on Netflix on the other hand, our synchronous product, which is really taking over the world, literally taking over the world. a professor, a teacher, a school will hold a class.

And so if you think about, if you believe this premise that remote learning online learning will continue to grow. And if current trends hold on, campus enrollment will see a small decline over time that growth in online students, you have to give them something better than just zoom. So how do you do a chemistry experiment?

On a 2d computer screen. How do you teach medical students in the cadaver lab? You can't do these things well through a webinar sort of education lesson. So what we've developed is this synchronous. So the teacher will launch a class. They'll schedule it, they'll invite the students in. Bring the students into, let's say the cadaver lab as an example.

And they, these students might be hundreds of miles apart, thousands of miles apart. But when they're in the cadaver lab, they're standing right next to each other. So the instructor also has classroom management. So like if everybody's talking boom, touch of a button, they all shut up. If you're in a lecture hall, touch of a button, they're all seated.

So the teacher has very powerful tools that many would love to have in the real world classroom. So. Back to the cadaver lab. Everybody's gathered ground professor takes her hand, plunges it into the chest, emerges with a human heart in her hand. She now takes that and she hands that heart to the student next to her who is 200 miles away in the real world.

But right next to her, that human, that student takes that heart and begins expanding it until it's eight foot tall. And now the professor and the students step inside the. And they examine the ventricles and the cavities, et cetera, but we're not done because now the teacher has at her disposal, 9,000 more assets she can draw from.

So now she pulls in a diseased heart and now they talk about the impact of smoking or poor nutrition or lack of exercise and the students step inside the diseased heart. So. The the teacher has over 70 classrooms to choose from a Starship for astronomy, dinosaur island for paleontology. They have 9,000 assets in growing to choose from.

As they teach their class, they can bring in any video or any PowerPoint that they will use when teaching the class. So that's from the teacher's perspective.

Wow. Wow. That's an interesting model. It's really interesting. It changes the way we think about education. It changes the way we think about interaction. it's not just, oh, should we had somebody on the show said, yeah. I've bought some real estate in the metaverse and I'm like, you bought real estate in the metaverse.

I don't even under that concept. Doesn't. Resonate with me. I don't even understand it. But as you are explaining to it, I now start to see the practical application of the metaverse for bringing people together, interacting with people a generation that's getting used to this interaction that we have right now through zoom is I, I guess there's a model beyond zoom that we're envisioning that is engaging and.

what's the promise of this for education? I mean, you sort of alluded to it early on, but when people engage at this level, what the retention rates and the and the engagement of the students, I would assume all of those things go up pretty significantly. Don't they?

Yeah, they do. If I could just touch on the perspective of the student, then go to the data, cuz I think that'll help people sort of understand this.

Yeah. So talk to me about the experience for the student.

So if let's take the university of Kansas school of nursing. particularly with their graduate students, they're already out in the field at clinics and hospitals they can't travel to Lawrence, Kansas to, to take a class or to Kansas city, Kansas, actually, where the school is.

So how do you give them a kinesthetic hands on learning experience when they're out in Wichita? Well, that's what they do so they they'll take their headset. Pull it on. And if for some reason they don't like headsets, they can just pull it up through a computer and engage with it. Like it's in a 3d world, but ideally they pull on their headset and now boom, they're in class with the rest of their students and from their. perspective, they can record information, they can take snapshots, they can take notes all of this while they're in class with their professor, just like you would in a real class. And then sometimes they'll receive a quiz at the end of class, a professor might say, okay, here's our pop quiz, and now they've gotta complete these answers.

So all of that is from the perspective of the student. Now, Morehouse college is entering their. Semester teaching on their meta university campus and meta university, by the way is just a combination of two words, the metaverse and university boom, me university. So Morehouse college had the same professor teach the exact same course, three different ways in a brick and mortar class zoom and on their meta university campus, all three ways, then they measured three things, student engagement, student performance, and student satisfaction in all three of those measures, the meta university classroom was significantly better than the other two. The other two were very comparable actually.

But then head and shoulders above the other two was their university campus. So that's a fairly compelling argument. And as these new next 10 universities roll out this fall, we'll have even more data by the end of the semester.

so Morehouse have partnered with you and they're offering their courses through it. Meta. What does meta university as a brand get attached to? Is it, is it the type of course that's offered through Morehouse?

No, it's, it's a campus just like, so what we do is we build a digital twin of their actual campus. So think about where you went to college. And did your, so I went to the university of Iowa.

We have this wonderful thing called the pen crest in the middle of campus. It's got the old capital in the middle, these wonderful, beautiful buildings around it. So what we would do is we would rebuild that pen crest to look exactly like the real deals. When you put it on your headset, you wake up on the Penta crest and then you walk to class, you go into class, just.

Just like I did when I was at the university of Iowa, I walk into my class, there's my professor, there's the other students. And then you start class. Wow. That's a university.

Wow. And so if I'm, if I'm with another university, I come to you, I partner with you. You essentially come to my campus, make a digital twin, and then I can start offering courses under my brand under Bian college, where I happen to go to college, I could offer universities under that brand are courses. Under that brand through my normal course catalog

and a hospital can do the same thing.

Yeah. Well, that's, that's one of the directions I wanna, I want to go with you. Let's dream a little bit about healthcare. You're doing some work in healthcare already. So you mentioned you mentioned university of Kansas. are there other areas that you're working in healthcare? And then what I'd like to do is just sort of dream about what other areas it could be utilized within within the healthcare.


So there's certain fields in hospitals and clinics that have high turnover and they are frequently more of an entry level. So we're starting with those some of the tech positions where you would actually be able to pop on your headset. Now you've got a trainer and you've got the equipment.

So maybe you are an x-ray tech, right? And so an x-ray tech that you have to run the equipment, they have to push certain buttons. They have to do things in a certain order to make sure everything is safe. Now. And nurses one of the big problems right now in the United States is getting enough clinical time for nursing students.

So what we're doing is we're building these opportunities for students to train on the actual equipment. And to train in the order in the way that they do it and they can do it over and over and over again. So currently in the real world, you have a very finite amount of time that you get access to that equipment.

And in many cases, it's on the job training. And once your time is up, you go home. You don't have access to learn on it anymore. In ours, they can do it until they get it right until they get it right. Three times or five times, whatever the standard is. And so having access to be able to actually touch the buttons, push things, get the patients located at the correct place.

That's a really valuable training tool so that techs can get up to speed quickly. So when they actually step when they step foot into the actual brick and mortar x-ray lab, everything's familiar. They've done it over and over and they know what they're supposed to do. It's very similar to a pilot using a flight simulator, right? None of us wanna get on a jet where the pilot failed the flight simulator. Same with my x-ray tech.

Interesting. surgery is one of those areas where I've heard this talked about. Are we seeing some of the education for surgery, go down this path as well?

Yeah. So we started with our dissection products for high school and early level college. And so you know that you have an instructor and you pick up the scalpel, you cut open the frog or the cat or the pig, and then you start pulling out organs and doing other things. So we've proved the model on that. And so on our roadmap then is to begin expanding that into. Some, some surgeries that would be valuable for medical schools, that type of thing, again, building simulators and there are other companies doing this but the reality is there's so much Greenfield out there to be, to be had that it's gonna take quite a few companies to, to build all these simulators.

So let me talk to you about innovators. So there's some innovators who are listening to this going man. They don't, they haven't even scratched the surface in terms of content. I'd like to start building content or blocks or whatever, the, thing is for, for a me university or for healthcare.

But what does that look like? Do you have like a partner program or what? Some kind of program where they, they can start to build those things?

First of all, we are hiring a lot of people. So if if we find people who are on one side, unity programmers and they know C sharp, got a little bit of experience we look very closely at them. On the other side, you need modelers people who can build the model. Think about that. Every single thing you do in the metaverse, you have to create the 3d modeled object. So the human heart, the human pancrea. In history, we have Harriet Tubman's pistol, things like that are, have to all be created by 3d modelers.

And so there's millions of objects that have to be built and we've built nine. We have 9,000 so far. So yeah if somebody ever has an interest. In talking with us, I'm very accessible. And so I can't get back to everybody, but if somebody has an interesting resume with the amount that we're hiring, we we like to put it in the queue and then give 'em a call when the time is right.

How do you decide what the next model is that you're gonna.

We usually let the market provide the demand. So for example, if you are, we've got about 20 colleges or universities in our university program right now. And so they'll come to us and say, look, we're going to teach a class on forestry. So we have an, or community college in Oregon, Southwestern, Oregon community college, and they'll say, okay, we need a tree and we need to be able to see all the rings.

Okay. We'll build. But we don't build it just for them. We put it in our general library. So any college in the world that's teaching forestry has access to that 3d modeled asset. Same thing with healthcare, we modeled the 50 most common surgical tools. So that those are all ready to go. If a school is ready, needs them, we've got the hospital bed, the hospital room, we're building all of these assets and it comes from schools that say, Hey, we're teaching this course. We need these assets. That's what, that's how we make our decisions.

So a few of those assets and I'm teaching a course. Can I deter, can I pull in different assets and build things out? Are there sort of modules already that have been.

So if you're teaching a course or just doing a training, you just go to our little search engine, victory, There's a little search box and you type in what you're searching for. And let's say, you're searching for molecule. Well, then it'll show you all of the di it'll show you the animations with molecules, the videos with molecules, the actual 3d models with molecules, or perhaps classrooms that we've built that have molecules in them.

And so you just start saying, okay, I need first. I need to pick my classroom. Then I need to pick my modeled assets and then I might choose a molecule field trip somewhere and we have a couple molecule field trips.

I mean, this is probably the last question here, but what's your, business model? Are you guys supported by venture private equity? Are you bootstrapped? I mean, what does the business model look.

We were bootstrapped with angel investors from 2016 to 2022. We recently brought on a a venture capital investor, which we will announce in a few weeks. But our business model really is it's a per license model.

So if you are, for example, West Virginia university is one of our clients. And so they, I think have a a hundred licenses. Their students use those licenses to take classes and then those licenses go to someone else. So they pay $195 per license and that's good for an entire year. So it's roughly less than a hundred dollars per semester to have full access to the entire campus. All the assets, all of the learning tools.

That is fantastic. I love the future and the vision that you're creating. Steve. I wanna thank you for your time. It's it's been, a pleasure having this conversation and I'd love the work that you're doing.

Thank you, bill. Appreciate you having me.

What a great discussion. If you know someone that might benefit from a channel like this, from these kinds of discussions, go ahead and forward them a note. I know if I were a CIO today, I would have every one of my team members listening to a show like this one. It's conference level value every week. They can subscribe on our website or wherever you listen to podcasts. Apple, Google, Overcast, everywhere. Go ahead. Subscribe today. Send a note to someone and have them subscribe as well. We want to thank our Keynote sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. Those are Sirius Healthcare. VMware, 📍 Transcarent, Press Ganey, Semperis and Veritas. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.


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