Why medtech startup Vantari lets its staff game during work hours

- February 24, 2022 2 MIN READ
Vantari VR co-founders Dr Vijay Paul and Dr Nishanth Krishnananthan.
Is gaming good or bad for us? That generally depends on your view on gaming overall.

But can it make you more productive at work?

Well one startup is testing the theory, with medical virtual reality company Vantari VR is encouraging its staff to game during work hours.

It seems counter-intuitive, but co-founders and co-CEOs, Dr Nishanth Krishnananthan and Dr Vijay Paul say the move that has seen company culture, creativity and camaraderie flourish. 

And they are doctors, so this is on doctor’s advice.

The pair launched an initiative they called ‘Gaming for Good’ last year. It allows employees to spend one Friday afternoon monthly disconnecting from work and connecting with each other via a company-wide gaming session. 

The two doctors realised there was a lot to be learned from video games, in terms of digital design, illustration techniques, creative thought-starters and more. 

“Everyone understands that food is a universal language. But we forget how much games are also a universal language,” Dr Paul said.

“Be it sport, a board game or a video game – it has the potential to bring together people from around the world, from different walks of life and create a community. We understood that this is a natural way for Vantari’s team, our own community to grow and thrive.”


Flight simulator technology

Vantari VR has revolutionised the way doctors receive on-the-job training through its unique ‘flight-simulator’-style technology. It gives clinicians the ability to practise life-saving procedures in virtual reality before performing them on real patients, which is also helping to reduce medical error, save time and money, and deliver better patient outcomes

Vantari software developer Peter Liang said he’s found gaming at work build a sense of camaraderie, even when a competitive rather than cooperative game.

“This makes communication and teamwork smoother especially with members who are usually less socially-inclined, and can also benefit the work culture by fostering relations amongst the team,” he said. 

“In addition, as our products often utilise the same technology stack that games use, it is useful to go through games in order to observe and compare the techniques that other games adopt, in terms of visuals and optimisations. 

“Outside of other games, it is still good to go through videos of other developers prototyping new features, talk footage from industry experts on best practices, news on any recent innovations in the industry, or anything that’s upcoming/being speculated on in regards to tools and hardware.” 


Gaming makes better doctors

Dr Nishanth Krishnananthan said the benefits are not just for software development and illustration, it already has surgical applications.

A study of laparoscopic (small incision) specialists found that doctors playing for more than three hours a week made 32% fewer errors during practice procedures compared to non-gamers, and were also had a 24% faster completion rate. 

“It’s been fantastic watching the team come together and bond over the gaming sessions, and the benefits we have seen at a skill level have been impressive,” he said.

“There’s a lot to be said for the benefits of gaming to the medical industry and wider, and we look forward to exploring other ways in which we can use the initiative to contribute to the progression and development of our team, our work and the industry as a whole.” 

NOW READ: Epic Games gives Australian medtech startup Vantari VR a $131,000 grant