DURHAM – Local startup Lucid Dream is clear about something: virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) is revolutionizing healthcare, and they’re going capitalize on it.

Today, the Durham-based startup announced plans to grow its workforce in the coming months to meet the growing demands of the healthcare and life sciences sectors. It will be adding roles in engineering, project management and sales.

It currently has 14 employees. That number is expected to jump to 18 by the end of the year.

Christophe LaFargue and Nicole Benham using augmented reality.

“There’s been an incredible wave of innovation in the life sciences and biotech sectors in recent years, but this only increases the urgency to find new ways to continuously re-educate, whether it be for patients, providers, or factory workers,” says Lucid Dream CEO Joshua Setzer.

“We’re using virtual and augmented reality to explain new advances in medical science in a 3D-interactive format that is not only easier to understand, but more memorable.”

Since launching in 2016, the Durham-based startup has built over 80 VR/AR tools for a broad variety of clients including Dell, Ret Hat, and the City of Durham.

But it’s the pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotech clients where they’re seeing an “outsized impact.”

Inside one of Lucid Dream’s Learning Labs.

Among its most recent projects:

● A $18 billion pharmaceutical company reduced training costs 35 percent by transitioning to VR-based leadership development programming for their global sales team.

● A global rare-disease focused biotech company enabled employees to experience simulated symptoms first hand in virtual reality, deepening patient empathy.

● A $50 billion tech company increased booth traffic 350 percent at industry conferences using VR-based marketing

“These customers are coming back with ideas faster than we can build them,” says chief product officer and co-founder Mike McArdle, in a statement. “We’re grateful to have the robust life science community right here in Research Triangle Park.”