Illuminating the Path to Next-Gen Healthcare

About Us

Impactful VR Development

We have a passion to create virtual experiences that make a positive difference in physical health, mental well-being, education, and research. Our product development team is comprised of successful video game veterans. The FireflyVR team combines our extensive experience and science-focused development to build innovative new technologies with health and technology partners. We are honored to collaborate with some of the biggest innovators in the healthcare industry.

What We Do

Virtual Reality and Mental Health

Four in ten adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder during the COVID pandemic. This is just one of many alarming statistics as we face a global and unavoidable mental health crisis. FireflyVR is determined to build new and novel ways to blend technology and therapies to ease this trend.


Expand accessibility and improve efficacy of mental health treatments through innovation.


To reimagine behavioral health and digital therapies, wearable biosensor technology, and immersive virtual environments to develop next generation products and improve the treatment of mental healthcare.

Our Approach to Product Development

Clinical Design Methodology

• Clinically-informed design methodology • Extensive consultation with experts and patients • Comprehensive market research and product analysis •

Utilize Our Vast Team Expertise

• Deep experience in healthcare product development • Extensive game development expertise (AAA and #1 App Store titles) • 100+ years experience creating engaging and delightful experiences •

Build for Extensibility & Scalability

• Create modular experiences that are highly adaptable  • Develop in Unity to offer technological extensibility across multiple form factors •

Incorporate Biosensors and Signals

• Develop for a wide variety of trackers, biosensors, and input technologies • Ability to filter and record data to gain insight in therapies, bio signals, and patient behaviors •

Current Focus

Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine as a medicine for mental health is a fascinating and quickly emerging field of healthcare, offering great hope for many mental health challenges such as treatment resistant depression. While used as a common anesthetic for over 50 years, Ketamine is being examined under a new spotlight with promising research emerging at an increasing rate. This surge in understanding offers hope at a time when mental health challenges are on the rise, affecting unprecedented numbers of people leading to a global mental health crisis.


Pairing a VR experience with ketamine therapy seemed like a natural combination to develop a tool that increases accessibility and improves effectiveness of the treatment. The FireflyVR team set out to develop the best product to accomplish these goals.

Product Spotlight

Introducing The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary is a Virtual Reality experience built to prepare a patient for a transformational ketamine treatment. It incorporates established techniques used by leading experts to provide a safe, engaging, and comfortable experience to prepare for meaningful therapy. The Sanctuary is a clinically designed solution that combines cognitive behavioral therapy to help reduce pre-procedure anxiety and develop positive intentions when the medicine is administered, ultimately improving outcomes. The Sanctuary is built with modularity in mind as other dissociative medicines become approved and understood beyond ketamine. 

We’re working hard with our team of experts to build and scientifically validate The Sanctuary as ketamine treatment becomes readily available. The modular foundation of The Sanctuary allows us to quickly and effectively adapt the experience to target a vast range of indications and therapies. Our initial target to treat treatment resistant depression is only the beginning of a wide-ranging and impactful journey.

Increase Accessibility of New Ground-Breaking Therapies

Improve Efficacy of Treatments

Inspire a Proper Mindset

Provide a Safe and Comfortable Setting

Benefits to the Entire Healthcare Ecosystem

The Sanctuary VR will deliver adjunctive therapy to Patients that reduce their pre-therapy stress and empower self education.  Better preparation will lead to improved therapeutic outcomes.


Drug Companies will see benefits by improving efficacy of therapies, increasing competitive differentiation, and providing accretive IP filing opportunities.  Use of the product will generate patient data that will enable therapy refinement.


Our product will improve Clinical Networks by expanding access to patients via telehealth.  Patient engagement will improve adherence.  Data analytics will empower future therapy refinements.


Payors will see a lowered cost of care by improved treatment efficacy and more efficient allocation of resources.  Improved access to care will increase patient throughput.

Harnessing The Immersion of Virtual Reality

The Sanctuary immerses a patient in a beautiful setting that is highly conducive to a positive therapeutic session. This allows for more focused, distraction-free sessions to firmly establish a beneficial mindset that can drastically improve ketamine therapy’s’ acute and long term outcomes.

A World-Class Team Delivering Solutions

Our software development team has over 100 combined years of software and game industry experience. Our credits include best-selling games from major studios, award-winning indie releases, widely-adopted physics engines, and fundamental engineering algorithms. Paired with our all-star team of science consultants, healthcare experts, and advisors — the FireflyVR team produces unparalleled product.

Shel Mann

Chief Executive Officer

Entrepreneur and business lead with successful business exits • Crafted multi-year development relationship with UHG, Optum Labs, and others inside healthcare • Working with big names like Atari, THQ, and Universal

Nickolas Miller

Chief Technology Officer

Veteran programmer with over seventeen years of industry experience • Major works including Guitar Hero, Medal of Honor, and Words with Friends

Matthew Gravelle

Chief Product Officer

Over seventeen years of professional video game development • Producer, designer, and UI artist for world-renowned clients and critically-acclaimed mobile games

Marguerite Manteau-Rao

Chief Clinical Officer

Innovating and designing for Digital Therapeutics and Medical VR for 10+ years • Trail-blazed product innovation process at Pear Therapeutics • Served as Director of Clinical Product Development for VR at Penumbra

Andy Mathis

Chief Business Officer

25+ years of experience in Silicon Valley with key business development roles at Google, Facebook, Oculus (Meta) • Principal, Business Development of Emerging Products at Amazon • Director, Healthcare Partnerships at Penumbra, Inc

Steve Howarth

Chief Financial Officer

Over 40 years of senior leadership experience scaling healthcare businesses and collaborating within the entire healthcare continuum • Deep experience with mergers/acquisitions and other business transactions • Former VP Global Finance Operations for Medtronic

Andy Korth

Data and Machine Learning, Senior Engineer

Programmer and designer for over 15 years • Has worked on dozens of titles across multiple platforms • Developed a neural network to detect music notes

Scott Lembcke

Biosignals and Processing, Senior Engineer

Graphics and simulation programmer with over 15 years of experience • Author of physics engines and tunneling algorithms

Charles McGregor

VFX, UI, and Game-Feel

Over a decade of game development experience • Award winning programmer, musician, and artist • Worked on various titles from mobile, console, PC, and VR/AR • Specializes in making things deliciously shiny

Janine Sagert Ph.D

Content Producer

Psychologist, anthropologist, stress management expert, executive coach, filmmaker, meditator, lover of wisdom teachers

Sam Kerr

Strategy & Corporate Development

13 years experience in management consulting, corporate strategy and development, investor relations • Founder of Impavidus Consulting Group • Epic Capital Management

Peter Aslanidis

Sound and Music Engineer

Professional musician 25+ years • Appears on 100s of pop recordings in Europe and Russia • Created music for film, advertisements, TV shows, and video games internationally

Advised By Scientific Luminaries

Robin Carhart-Harris, Ph.D

Science Advisor

Ralph Metzner Distinguished Professor in Neurology and Psychiatry & Director of Neuroscape’s Psychedelics Division at UCSF • Designed human brain imaging studies with LSD, psilocybin, MDMA and DMT, and two clinical trials of psilocybin for depression • Authored over 127 papers • Named in TIME magazine’s ‘100 Next’

Walter Greenleaf, Ph.D

Chair Of Scientific Advisory Board

Research neuroscientist and medical product developer at Stanford University • Known internationally as an early pioneer in digital medicine and the field of medical virtual reality

Albert “Skip” Rizzo, Ph.D

Technology Advisor

Director, Medical Virtual Reality at Institute for Creative Technologies • Research Professor at Dept. of Psychiatry and School of Gerontology,
University of Southern California

Deborah C. Mash, Ph.D

Science Advisor

Professor Emerita Neurology & Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine • Pioneering ibogaine & noribogaine research • 300+ published studies in addiction neurobiology, genomics, & psychedelic medicine • CEO & Founder of DemeRx Inc • Atai Life Sciences consultant • Swedish American Life Science Rising Star Award in 2018

Laura Kochevar, Ph.D

Science Advisor

30+ years of experience in the study of medical decision-making psychology and economics • Research Fellow at Optum Labs • Director of a quality improvement research center for the VA Healthcare System • Research advisor at University of Minnesota School of Public Health

Dr. Christopher Romig, MD

Medical Advisor

CEO Ark Integrative Medicine • Board-certified anesthesiologist +20 years • Pioneer in Ketamine-assisted therapy since 2016 • Early adopter of VR for patient care • Care team utilizes holistic approach in mental health and wellness

Dr. Raymond Brovont, MD, FACEP

Medical Advisor

Owner of Bloom Health and Wellness • Board-certified emergency medicine physician • Former U.S. Army Major, Brigade Surgeon • Emergency Dept. Medical Director • Integrates holistic approaches to clinical medicine • Pioneering use of VR into his practice

Dr. Nafisseh Soroudi, Ph.D

Medical Advisor

Mind-body integrative and regenerative medicine • PhD in Biopsychology • Harvard Medical post-doctoral residency, behavioral medicine • Accomplished healthcare director across medical and clinical affairs • Success in clinical research, product launch, and commercialization

Dr. Brent A. Bauer, MD

Medical Advisor

30+ year on staff at Mayo Clinic • Founder and Research Director of Integrative Medicine Program • Professor of Medicine • Forefront of combining conventional medicine with complementary evidence-based therapies

Guided By All-Star Healthcare Leaders

Benjamin Wiegand, Ph.D


Ben’s focus is to make disease a historical artifact, enabling longer, healthier lives • Current Founding Partner for CWWDA (Connected World W/out Disease Accelerator) • Former global head of WWD Accelerator and VP at Johnson & Johnson • SVP at UHG R&D

Lindsay Hoover


Managing partner, JLS Fund • Entrepreneur in VR/AR • Expertise in corporate finance, M&A, private placements, valuations • Former Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Department of State

David Orbuch


Recently retired as COO of UnitedHealth Group Brazil, UHG’s largest business outside of the US • Successfully led businesses on three continents • Core leadership strengths include financial management, strategy development, operational execution, and health care compliance

Brett Atwood, JD


Extensive experience building, investing in, and advising healthcare businesses • Chief Development Officer of BioIntelliSense • Former Vice President of Ventures at UnitedHealth Group Research & Development

Brendon S. Hale, Ph.D


Focus is developing digital tools and technologies to reimagine healthcare all along the spectrum of care • Currently Chief Science and Product Officer • Former VP, Health and Market Outcomes Research for Immersive Healthcare at Penumbra • Senior Research Scientist at UHG R&D

William (Billy) Weisman


Entrepreneur, philanthropist, mind/body/soul practitioner • Scaled several entrepreneurial businesses with emphasis on operations • Several companies sold at high valuation • Partner at New World Ventures with investment focus centered on helping people

Kyle Rolfing


Deep and successful background in the healthcare industry • Co-Founder and President of Bright Health • Founder and CEO of RedBrick Health • Founder and CEO of Definity Health

Bud Flagstad


Senior Vice President of UnitedHealth Group Research & Development • Respected leader in the healthcare technology space • Has held leadership roles in the private equity medical startup space, and financial services industry

Jeffrey Saunder, JD


Strong background in securities and corporate finance • Extensive experience across the spectrum of the health care supply chain

Contact Us

We’re always keeping an eye out for impactful new product ideas and interesting new partners. Reach out if you want to learn more or collaborate!

    FireflyVR is proudly based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    © Copyright 2019, FireflyVR LLC, All Rights Reserved