Metaverse and Digital Healthcare: What is the future?
Though the concept of ‘metaverse’ is new or emerging today, its roots are somewhere incorporated in 1992. Metaverse was first introduced in Neal Stephenson’s sci-fi book Snow Crash from 1992. It involves the use of the metaverse as a way of exploration and escape after becoming disillusioned with their dismal world.
The metaverse is currently envisioned by modern people as a large digital plane of a seamless existence where the virtual and real worlds coexist; the fusion of the digital and physical worlds.
Is Metaverse thing actually happening?
Well, perhaps. At least not yet. A lot of recognized leaders in the digital business doubt whether anything like that is really feasible because it is still in the future. However, in today’s world we can see the metaverse as 3D internet. The concept is a virtual world where users live out their entire digital lives; each user will have an avatar and interact with other virtual avatars to have different experiences. At least, that’s the concept.
In order to develop online environments that are more immersive, engaging, and interactive than those we already have, it is a notion to combine augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), ever-increasing connectivity (like 5G networks), and virtual reality (VR)..
Many industries are starting to adopt it. One of them is health care. A number of reports indicate that the metaverse will be extremely beneficial for the healthcare sector, which is why hospital chains and healthcare firms are becoming more and more enthusiastic about it.
Metaverse and Healthcare
Beyond simply adopting digital technologies, healthcare organisations like hospital chains and fitness businesses are already making inroads into the metaverse. Numerous hospitals and healthcare franchises in India are showing interest in metaverse healthcare.
The Apollo Hospitals Group and 8chili Inc. worked together to make participation in the metaverse possible. According to the company, it will include users in virtual reality-based activities to strengthen their capacity for emotion regulation. According to Apollo, treating each patient individually will contribute to greater patient satisfaction.
Another franchise is Yashoda Hospitals Group from Hyderabad, which purchased a plot of land on the well-known metaverse platform Decentraland and established an experience zone to commemorate 30 years of providing healthcare to the public.
Dr. Abhinav Gorukanti, Director of Yashoda Hospitals, stressed that it is a new technology and businesses want to be early adopters when asked why hospital chains are investigating the metaverse. The decentralised data environment and blockchain both have advantages, according to Gorukanti.
The usage of the metaverse in healthcare, according to a 2022 KPMG research, has the potential to be transformative by bringing patients and healthcare providers closer together in times of need.The report also listed metaverse as one of the important technologies for the future. “These technologies can assist remotely located patients get the proper care, right diagnosis, medical care, and guidance in medical procedures from the specialists who present in different geographical areas in real-time and during the golden hours,” said the report.
Not only the healthcare sector—all industries will benefit. According to Gorukanti, it will improve the experience for telemedicine, medical education, and other aspects of healthcare. She also said that it widens the serviceable market to a larger, worldwide audience and offers newer services and newer models for service delivery and payment.
These include blockchain, digital twinning, and telepresence (which enables people to physically be apart while still being there online) (and its ability to let us create a distributed internet). Let’s examine each of them individually.
Telepresence or Telemedicine
Providing medical care remotely is referred to as telemedicine in the healthcare industry. The Covid-19 epidemic saw a spike in popularity for this. Only 43% of healthcare facilities had the capability to treat patients remotely as of the year 2020. 95 percent of the time is the current percentage.
Doctors and nurses have discovered that they are able to identify many of the minor conditions that make up a large portion of their caseload more quickly and efficiently via a telephone or video call for routine consultations that don’t require a physical examination (or that can be carried out visually). There’s little doubt that this will continue in the metaverse.
Anyone who has tried it knows that headset-based virtual reality experiences provide a significantly higher sense of “being there” than other virtual environments such as webpages, messaging applications, or social media.
Telemedicine consultations, particularly using virtual reality, imply that patients are no longer restricted to being treated by specific clinicians based on their actual location. If you’re in Europe and the greatest specialist for your specific ailment is in India, you can virtually be in the same room by wearing headsets.
Another field where the metaverse in the health sector can be extremely beneficial is therapy. Patients can deal with situations that make them anxious in secure settings where every part of the interaction can be properly monitored and regulated. For example, gameChange, a virtual reality system designed by Dr. Daniel Freeman and his colleagues at the Oxford University, are employing VR to treat psychosis through a type of medical technology known as digital therapeutics, or DTx.
Metaverse will simplify the process for patients and clinicians to adopt medical wearables by improving healthcare facilities. Monitors for pulmonary disease, for example, can alert emergency services. In addition, doctors will provide check-ups if a person has a COPD flare-up. Medical wearables are also projected to increase data collection for physicians, supplementing virtual visits in the virtual world with real-time and acquired data.
Scans and tests can be performed at a facility close to you, and the data can be forwarded to the specialist anywhere in the world.
Blockchains, which are most commonly associated with the technology that powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, are simply distributed, encrypted databases that make it possible to store and transfer data securely in a way that only the data owner can alter.
Blockchain enables two-party transactions without the need for third-party verification at their core. While it is debatable whether or not businesses have benefited more from AI and analytics than consumers, blockchain may level the playing field by returning control of data to consumers. The fact that blockchain returns to consumers the value of their data is among the most exciting aspects of it.
Blockstack is yet another cutting-edge innovation that uses blockchain to “protect your digital rights” and build new kinds of networks for decentralised applications. Your data follows you around when using Blockstack. It serves as a key to open specific apps, but it is immediately returned to the user after use. This is straightforward but ground-breaking in terms of digital marketing.
Read on to learn how this technology might affect digital marketing:
The Safety Factor
Everybody who makes online purchases and sales faces serious data security concerns. Everybody is concerned when breaches are reported in the media because it could mean that their identity or financial information has been compromised.
Each blockchain transaction is verified and made available to the public, but the parties involved remain anonymous. As a result, all transactions will be more securely encrypted while maintaining total anonymity for all parties.
No One Can Fake
Online, it seems like nearly everything is either fake or might be. In an effort to defraud people of their hard-earned money, criminals have created fake likes, followers, and even products.
With blockchain, you can determine whether the advertising dollars you spend are reaching the intended audience. You will communicate with publishers directly rather than dubious third parties. Customers will be aware that they can trust your advertisements, increasing the effectiveness of your marketing.
As a business, you should ensure that the advertisements you purchase are on reliable websites that are actually intended for the target market. With blockchain, you can completely avoid the ad networks, though. Users will be automatically verified, eliminating the need for a third party like Google to establish trust. Websites with space for ads and companies placing ads can collaborate easily.
Alternative Payment Methods
Another advantage of blockchain technology is that it enables the development of alternative payment systems, something that has previously been impossible. These alternative payment systems could involve the use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or even the creation of one’s own digital currency for business transactions.
The integration of these core technologies in online environments – the metaverse – means that healthcare specialists will be able to deliver more integrated treatment programs and packages, free of the silos that plague much of the current healthcare system.
Rapid information sharing among clinicians would allow underlying causes of illness to be identified more quickly. Monitoring patient activity in the metaverse allows factors such as compliance to be tracked more easily, which aids in the diagnosis and treatment of illness.
There may be some obstacles to overcome first, particularly with regard to people’s attitudes toward getting treatment online or remotely, which many may still regard as a second-best or backup option. There are also concerns about equality of access – VR headsets are not cheap, and requiring them to participate could be seen as contributing to inequality in healthcare access.
However, these are problems that are likely to be dealt with over time if the new era of digital-first healthcare professionals can successfully demonstrate that their innovation will result in lower costs and better patient outcomes with Web 3.0.