Metaverse is a promising technology and holds lucrative opportunities in the medical field

Metaverse is a promising technology and holds lucrative opportunities in the medical field

Metaverse is a buzzword nowadays. Everyone is writing about it and its potential in gaming, entertainment, and other aspects of business operations. But what about the Metaverse in healthcare? Will it be a massive technological gamechanger in 2022? 

You can expect many changes in terms of seamless integration, offsetting startup costs, and data security/privacy issues. To put it simply, this technology will redefine modern healthcare. To those who are still new to this term. It is next-generation internet that will leverage artificial intelligence, AR, VR, and 5G to create an immersive, experiential, and interactive environment.

It won’t be wrong to say that it will be transformational. As per a study, US healthcare will spend around $8.3 trillion by 2040 to adopt new technologies. Want to know more about it? Keep scrolling and find out more.

Metaverse will create new delivery channels

Many leaders believe that this technological innovation will transform healthcare delivery into improved patient outcomes and affordable costs. Ideally, there will be a convergence of the three core technologies already impacting the healthcare industry. 

  • Telepresence: It is also called telemedicine. It is one of the most preferred means today since the pandemic made it impossible to reach primary healthcare professionals. Earlier it was only around 43% of healthcare facilities that used such technologies. But now, more than 90% of facilities use telemedicine or virtual means to stay connected with their patients.

Further, integrating it with VR allows clinicians to reach their patients even with physical location restrictions. 

  • Digital Twins: When integrated with Metaverse, this could be of the patient itself. It is a virtual model which uses real-world data to learn more about the real counterpart. Many believe that it will become a test dummy for individuals to predict everything from the process of surgery and after-care protocols. Who knows, we might be able to fast forward? 
  • Blockchain technology: Unlike many presume, it is a distributed and encrypted database that allows organizations to store their data and transfer it most securely. It will be an essential part of Metaverse and help everyone decentralize contracts and ownership records. In this industry, it will help manage and secure high-value health data. 

The convergence of these innovations will result in a metaverse where the healthcare system will become advanced and easy to operate. You can expect rapid information sharing and monitoring of patient activity using this technology. 

Not only that, another part of the Metaverse in the healthcare industry is that there might be a concept of the virtual hospital coming to the forefront. For example, physiotherapy will use computer vision to check the damaged joint motion as well as the progress of patients. 

Clearly, the healthcare industry will redefine its care delivery models and combat the current hurdles to improve patient care. 

Still wondering where Metaverse could fit into the healthcare operations? Let’s find out more below.

Areas in which Metaverse will gain dominance in the healthcare industry

It took less than 10 years to adopt the new innovative technologies like AR/VR/5G. In fact, the WHO is already using AR to train pandemic respondents. Many leaders believe that Metaverse will help healthcare professionals in many areas using these technologies. Here’s how it will be beneficial for the healthcare sector.

  • Surgical operations: Right now, surgeons are already using innovative technologies like AI, AR, and VR to augment patient outcomes. However, the intervention of Metaverse will help the healthcare industry combat the challenges of using these technologies separately. It will offer space and realistic interaction between doctors and patients. Thus, making it easier for them to explain surgical operations to patients. It will help improve patient outcomes. 
  • Mental health: The Metaverse raises interesting concerns when it comes to mental health. For example, addiction to virtual realities. However, that’s only one side of the coin. It could be instrumental in treating various brain issues like phobias, PTSD, anxiety disorders, and hallucinations. 

For example, Dr. Lisa Cortez launched Moody Minks, an NFT collection, to create a space for mental health in Metaverse. It might become the first META-tation center where the visitors can interact with one another using events and games. 

  • Education and training: It could help create a space where students or doctors can learn about new technologies and surgeries and examine the anatomy of the human body. It will give everyone a space for communication, new experiences, and freedom to share and create high immersion. It could help students solve problems, perform projects, build creativity, and create a learning space for all students. 

It won’t be wrong to say that it could be helpful in:

  1. Medical training
  2. Digital therapeutic application
  3. Creating augmented reality for surgical operations
  4. Integrating medical wearables in the Metaverse

However, certain challenges might hinder its adoption in the market. For instance, it is quite challenging to attract customers to the Metaverse. Further, new HIPAA guidelines might impact its adoption. Not only that, there are concerns about privacy, interoperability, and high cost.

So, if you wish to be an early adopter, it is vital that you create new business models to incorporate Metaverse and not lose its viability down the line. 

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Insurers will want to compensate for virtual visits differently.
  2. Malpractice lawsuits will require recording the time spent in Metaverse to identify liability purposes.
  3. Medical coders will need special codes for Metaverse-related sessions.
  4. There must be compatibility of the software solutions with Metaverse.
  5. There must be debate about prescribing medications or treatments virtually.

Final Takeaways: Metaverse will optimize patient care across the entire healthcare spectrum

The announcement of Metaverse by the CEO of Facebook triggered its usage in different niches and industries. But now it is showing a promising role in the medical field as well. This can be used to address certain issues like mental health, access to health irrespective of the geographical limitations. It could be helpful with virtual wellness and fitness. So, are you thinking about using it to improve your chances to stand out? If not, what’s stopping you?

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