27 Sep Is the healthcare industry spearheading the metaverse?
The metaverse has been billed as the biggest thing to happen to the internet since the smartphone. However, a fully formed mainstream product is yet to emerge. No one knows at this stage how all the many Web 3 technologies and platforms currently being developed in isolation will all fit together.
But while the eyes of the world are on metaverse video games and social experiences, one industry is quietly harnessing the technology for real-world change. Healthcare is showcasing the tremendous potential of the metaverse, by training surgeons, treating social anxiety and much more.
The opportunities are hugely exciting, from improving at-home care for patients to educating medical students using VR. New techniques and treatments can be trialled virtually, without the risk to real-life patients. And surgeons can practise, hone their skills and re-run procedures multiple times without the pressure of having a living, breathing patient under the knife.
According to Kaizen Finance founder Evgen Verzin, speaking to Verdict.co.uk:
“As the metaverse expands at an exponential rate, new opportunities in healthcare emerge,”
“The metaverse components are now playing an important role in healthcare, including the expanded use of VR in medical education, the implementation of AR in surgery, gamification to connect hospital staff and patients, interoperability, and more.”
The metaverse as “the next horizon” in healthcare
A recent report by Accenture has found that around 80% of healthcare executives believe that metaverse technology can have a positive impact on the sector.
It’s already happening, as demonstrated by one recent high-profile case involving the successful separation of conjoined twins in Brazil.
Surgeons from around the world ‘met’ in virtual spaces to plan and execute the unprecedented surgery. The task was so daunting as twins Arthur and Bernardo Lima shared vital veins in their brains, requiring more than seven surgical procedures.
With the aid of virtual technology, the international team of surgeons were able to train for months ahead of the landmark procedure.
Other notable leaps forward in VR and metaverse use in healthcare recently include:
- The treatment of patients with acrophobia and other phobias, through exposure to their fears in ‘safer’ virtual spaces.
- Training for healthcare professionals using computer-generated worlds and full 360° views of the human body.
- Enhanced patient-doctor interactions in virtual appointments, offering immersive experiences and highly personalised patient care.
Industry experts are predicting that the work being done now with the ‘mediverse’ will continue to evolve.
Future medical professionals may be able to train in the metaverse using interactive holographic projections, while hospitals, care facilities and wellness spaces may all be entirely housed within the metaverse. This has the potential to open up access to high quality treatment to anyone with an internet connection (and perhaps also a VR headset).
Our specialist recruiters are also the ideal choice if you’re hiring for a healthcare organisation. Find out more here.