Embodied Labs: This Immersive VR Platform Helps Train The Aging Care Workforce

By Dan Anderson ● February 2, 2020
  • Embodied Labs, a leading immersive platform using VR to revolutionize training for the aging care workforce, recently announced it raised $3.2 million

Embodied Labs is a California-based leading immersive platform using virtual reality (VR) to revolutionize training for the aging care workforce. Recently, the company raised $3.2 million in funding led by Ziegler Link·Age Fund and The Venture Reality Fund. SustainVC, WXR Fund, and ETF@JFFLabs also joined the round.

“In addition to being oversubscribed in our initial investment round, we are thrilled with our unique mix of investors who have proven expertise across the convergence of aging, emerging technology, social impact, female empowerment and the need to transform our workforce training methods in health and aging care,” said Carrie Shaw, founder and CEO of Embodied Labs.

Launched in 2016, Embodied Labs uses VR to put health care professionals and family caregivers into the body and mind of those who are challenged with lifespan aging issues like cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s, age-related vision and hearing loss, neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s and Lewy body dementia, and end-of-life decisions. And the company’s training mission is twofold: enhance person-centered care through intellectual and instinctual behavior change and help long-term care providers recruit and retain a quality caregiver workforce.

“One of the target attributes we look for in our investment portfolio companies is a differentiated solution with broad market potential,” said John Hopper, chief investment officer at Ziegler Link·age Fund. “We are leading this investment round for Embodied Labs because it delivers a unique solution across our limited partners spectrum of senior living, home care, hospice and hospitals to train a workforce that spans four generations. Using this innovative VR tool to attract and retain valuable talent puts providers ahead of the curve operationally and with their customers.”

The age-tech market is expected to be $40 billion. And according to a Goldman Sachs report, virtual reality in U.S. health care will capture 12.5% of the market by 2025. And from a workforce training perspective, ABI Research found enterprise training based on VR had a 75% learning retention rate versus lecture (10%) or reading (15%) training.

“Embodied Labs is at the intersection of immersive tech and age-tech innovation to establish its leadership in this huge market opportunity,” added Marco DeMiroz, co-founder and general partner of The Venture Reality Fund. “What attracted us to invest in Embodied Labs is its unique focus in VR to deliver transformative training in a turnkey tech-sophisticated package based on its comprehensive and innovative platform that is already receiving significant adoption by a traditionally tech-phobic long-term care.”

Embodied Labs works with health care, gerontology, medical and clinical scientist experts along with seasoned Hollywood filmmakers for powerful storytelling.

“VR technology offers a quantum leap in delivering empathy and understanding of our ever-growing aging population,” explained Dr. Ken Dychtwald, aging visionary, author, co-founder of AgeWave and an angel investor in Embodied Labs. “I became an early seed funder in Carrie Shaw’s Embodied Labs because they’re committed to using cutting edge technology to provide better care for our aging population.”

The Embodied Labs solution has won the National AARP Caregiving Innovation Challenge, The United Healthcare & AARP OpenIDEO Caregiving for Dementia Challenge, The US Department of Education EdSim Challenge and The GlobalXR in Education Prize Challenge funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Female-driven innovation and influence, especially in age-tech, is exciting to see and I immediately embraced Carrie’s vision to use VR to create emotional intelligence in aging for better person-centered care,” stated Maddy Dychtwald, author, co-founder of AgeWave and a founder of WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s — who is also an angel investor in Embodied Labs.