“As a result of the support offered by DigitalCity we have been able to add a whole new capability to our business.” Pravin Jethwa – Business Director, Amazing Interactives
Thornaby-based Amazing Interactives specialises in developing immersive technology solutions for the health sector.
DigitalCity assisted the company with the migration of one of its applications into a mobile platform to make it more convenient for NHS staff and patients.
Distraction therapy is a technique for dealing with unruly toddlers with which many parents are familiar. Applying the same method to 3D technology for use in children’s hospitals and in dentists’ surgeries has made business look like child’s play for Amazing Interactives, with support from DigitalCity.
The Thornaby-based company is enjoying great success in the UK with its interactive systems and is now growing its market in America and beyond, keeping children in ten countries around the world content as they undergo painful or uncomfortable procedures.
Established in Middlesbrough in 2004 by colleagues who worked together at Teesside University’s Virtual Reality Centre, they developed 3D technology over the next decade for the education, medical and entertainment sectors, supplying touch screens and 3D imagery to museums, visitor centres, schools and shopping malls like Bluewater and Meadowhall. Expansion into supplying hardware as well prompted a move in 2014 to premises in Thornaby.
Their suite of interactive application and immersive packages for the medical sector is perhaps the most rewarding aspect of their work. Using graphics, colours and text, the 3D software helps distract children as they have injections, replacement dressings, blood taken and other procedures.
The technology has been rolled out to over 100 hospitals in the UK including Great Ormond Street, Addenbrookes, Alder Hey and, locally, at the Great North Children’s Hospital and James Cook, where working alongside the cystic fibrosis team has allowed the company to go even further.
Co-owner Pravin Jethwa explains: “Children with respiratory problems have to undergo tests and learn breathing techniques, with lung function measured by a spirometer. We developed a package with a fairground theme so children play arcade games like a boat race, shooting ducks and blowing up balloons that require them to blow into a spirometer that’s linked to the software.”
Doctors asked if the company could develop a portable version for patients to use at home.
Amazing Interactives successfully applied for consultancy support from DigitalCity and were linked up with a consultant that was able to evaluate their technology and investigate its functionality for running on smart mobile devices, and the cost implications of the development. They also explored if it could be linked to a spirometer, allowing patients to use the system via a phone or tablet at home and still generate data for doctors.
Pravin says: “Their research found it could be translated into an app and also that affordable spirometers were available that could be linked via Bluetooth.
“The scoping exercise has been a huge opportunity for us – developing app-based systems, creating the apps themselves and learning about the process of retailing – and has really allowed us to take the software to a new level. As a result of the support offered by DigitalCity we have been able to add a whole new capability to our business.”
Scott Watson, of DIgitalCity, says: “Amazing Interactives has been working at the forefront of hardware and software technology for many years. We are delighted that our support has helped Amazing Interactives explore, validate and then develop mobile platforms that have had a great impact on this business and its health sector clients.”