A new dimension of surgery

January 19, 2023
Our founding story, and how CEO Alison Sundset is driving momentum on our journey towards commercialisation

Our founding story began in 2016 when Microsoft unveiled its augmented reality headset, HoloLens. Sopra Steria, a European consulting and digital services powerhouse, quickly recognised the technology’s potential ground-breaking utility in healthcare, and collaborated with Oslo's University Hospital Innovation Centre to apply augmented reality to different health settings.

A period of research and innovation in holographic technology followed, led by clinicians at Oslo University Hospital representing specialities including cardiology, hepatology and orthopaedics. With knowledge of the most pressing problems facing clinical teams, they were instrumental in developing a software that turned CT scans into interactive 3D holograms. Realising the significant potential for clinical support, HoloCare AS was formed in 2019. 

Today, we are a global business formed by a community of passionate clinicians, engineers, designers and experts uniting clinical teams to deliver smarter, safer surgery for patients.

Driving momentum 

Alison Sundset joined as CEO in 2020, at the start of the pandemic, to build our team and to commercialise our technologies. Despite the challenges and starting a new role remotely, Alison was able to build trust and respect immediately, thanks to her experience delivering meaningful benefits from medical devices into the market, over a period spanning 20 years. She has a track record of transforming patient care across the life sciences, pharma and healthcare industries – through intelligent integration of research, product and business development. 

For Alison, a med-tech start-up offered a new challenge, versus the major pharma industries she had previously been delivering products to. HoloCare’s young enthusiastic team – with their own clinical experience, secured on evidence-based results – were progressing medical device expertise, as well as offering a clear clinical utility in potentially transforming patient care. This made HoloCare stand out on the crowded health-tech stage.

Alison Sundset, HoloCare CEO

As CEO, Alison advocates it remains her job to drive the momentum of supportive assistive medical device applications within business development at all times. She has assembled a diverse team of experts – across technology, regulatory, engineering, medicine and design – to improve our product offerings, and to support both medical requirements and our business needs, on our journey towards ensuring we provide assistive valuable products that meet both medical device regulation, compliance and commercialisation. Seeing diversity as a collaborative strength, Alison believes that the best teams are built on shared expertise and experience, and benefit from unique perspectives. This remains the driving force behind our team designing the future of how we utilise medical imaging.

A common goal, a shared vision

When planning surgery, clinical teams look at 2D medical scans in order to visualise a patient’s own anatomy, and the problem that the surgery is involved in addressing. However, lots of different people looking at the same 2D image often leads to different perspectives on critical anatomical features – giving rise to disagreements that could prolong MDT (multidisciplinary team) meetings and delay surgery. 

Our easy-to-use, interactive holograms address this issue by providing clinicians with the same 3D view ahead of surgery. All clinicians – whether joining the meeting in person or virtually – can look at and interact with the same 3D image, giving a better spatial understanding of anatomical features. By moving, rotating and expanding the hologram, clinicians can see the organ from any angle and can use intuitive tools to develop precise surgical plans. Our technology allows everyone in the MDT to share the same perspective, simplifying collaboration between diverse medical and surgical specialties. 

HoloCare’s holograms will provide the clinician with improved informed imaging that permits further review of the 2D imaging on which decisions are based. With less room for ambiguity and disagreement, surgeons can plan smarter and safer surgeries – helping improve patient safety by reducing the risk of preventable complications and for hospital readmission.

Smarter, safer surgeries

From our origins as a Sopra Steria founded research project with Oslo University Hospital, HoloCare AS is continuing to build market momentum and clinical utility under the leadership of Alison Sundset, on our journey to commercialisation. Ultimately, we plan that HoloCare AS applications will be used by surgical teams across the world –  putting the power of pre-clinical preparation into their hands and reducing time taken for those activities.