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Manchester-based Re:course AI, a startup that has created a virtual training platform for healthcare staff, has raised $4.3m (£3.5m) in seed capital.

Founded by Dr Scott Martin, CEO, and Dr Maksim Belousov, CTO, Re:course AI’s software uses digital avatars to simulate training tasks in a healthcare setting. On-screen digital avatars are equipped with natural language technology to recreate patient exchanges and provide feedback.

Re:course said its healthcare training platform is already used at facilities in the UK and US.

Aidan MacMillan, senior investment manager at Par Equity, said: “Re:course AI has the potential to disrupt how the healthcare professionals of the future are trained, as the demand for virtual AI-based training is growing.”

Johnson added: “Re:course AI builds on the strong tradition in artificial intelligence in Manchester that started with the ‘Father of AI’ Alan Turing.”

The startup will use the seed funding for expansion into “new markets” and to hire new engineering staff.

“The aviation industry is another sector where safety is of paramount importance, and it has led the way in demonstrating the value of simulated training to maintain and update the skills of pilots,” said Dr Scott Martin, CEO and co-founder of Re:course AI.

NHS England SBRI Healthcare has previously given the business $1.2m (£974,000). A pilot is currently underway between Re:course AI and South Yorkshire NHS.

The software is also being used by the Ministry of Defence for clinician medical training.

Its seed round was led by Par Equity in addition to Northern Gritstone, Praetura Ventures’ GMC Life Sciences Fund, the founder of STEM Healthcare Rob Wood and the founders of Current Health.

Praetura Ventures launched its GMC Life Sciences Fund last year to invest in Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington life science startups.

Duncan Johnson, CEO of Northern Gritstone, said: “The strength of Re:course AI’s proposition and the interest it has attracted from the venture capital community underlines how dynamic the tech startup scene is in the Manchester-Leeds-Sheffield region.”