What is the Future of the Metaverse in Healthcare?
Metaverse is the new term for the entire world, which is anticipating a disruptive revolution in many parts of life, but it will also play a significant role in healthcare. For decades, establishing a diagnosis, obtaining medical treatment, or conducting surgical operations for a patient required a physical connection between the patient and the doctor. The metaverse in healthcare changed significantly with the introduction of telehealth services, which integrated digital technology and the Internet into the patient-doctor connection.
Traditionally, medicine has been a hands-on experience, but the epidemic has hastened the introduction of distant care technology. Before COVID-19, it was estimated that 43% of healthcare facilities offered telehealth services. This ratio is expected to grow to 95% by 2020.
Many of our healthcare systems have become the focus of intense criticism across the world. With growing expenses, aging populations, limited resources, and the threat of a worldwide pandemic, transferring certain aspects of healthcare from the hospital to the house may not seem like such a terrible idea.
The pandemic’s push on our advancements has undoubtedly found new health-related prospects and commercial models for us to explore as our everyday lives become increasingly computerized. Let’s look at some of the ways that these innovations will begin to affect the metaverses in healthcare.
Everything will be transformed by digital twins.
Experts agree that digital twins will be the foundation on which the metaverse will be built. Digital twin technology has the potential to revolutionize several crucial areas of healthcare, including patient treatment and diagnosis, better-optimized preventative care, better surgery preparation, and much more.
Currently, 25% of healthcare executives report adopting digital twins in their organizations, with an estimated 66 percent expecting their investment in digital twins to expand as the metaverse develops. While we are still in the early stages, healthcare executives throughout the world have begun to connect networks of digital twins to develop virtual models of supply chains, facilities, and even human body parts and organs also.
Some scientists predict that one day everyone will have access to a digital twin of their genetic profile, which will be developed after birth for them. If they became unwell or developed a disease, their “virtual profile” would be computationally treated to offer clinicians enhanced treatment options for their real bodies.
In healthcare, digital twins will undoubtedly enhance surgical methods. Before performing a real-life surgery, surgeons would practice on a digital twin, allowing them to reference locations in the simulation’s anatomy as required. This would also allow for the testing of experimental therapies or treatments on digital twins before applying them to actual bodies, reducing the risk to the patient.
Potentials of Metaverse’s in Healthcare
The Metaverse concept has enormous promise since it offers a whole new way of human interaction and connection. Facebook’s recent name change to Meta demonstrates the company’s foresight and belief that Metaverse will impact the Internet in the future years. Because Facebook currently has a robust social networking infrastructure, it has tremendous potential to incorporate Metaverse into healthcare. The Metaverse in Healthcare has many potentials, but we will only touch on a few of them here.
1. Metaverse Technology Will Revolutionize Surgery.
Intuitive Surgical, known for its robot-assisted surgical system, and many other smaller firms are investing in digital healthcare, whether it’s to improve the telemedicine experience through augmented reality or to make other medical encounters more convenient and safer for patients.
However, these companies will undoubtedly face significant challenges, one of the most significant of which is connecting the virtual and real worlds, and they will need to conduct numerous clinical trials to determine whether this technology can be used safely for patient care and how we will be able to use it.
Surgeons might gather virtually in an operating room and cooperate in surgery with the help of other physicians and specialists. During surgery, I think the surgeon can view his vitals, photos, and history above the patient’s body, and he can quickly browse through numerous patient data points. This would make surgery more convenient, and doctors would have more control over the virtual equipment.
2. Telemedicine and teleconsultation Introduced by Metaverse in healthcare.
Telemedicine and teleconsultation services are growing all over the world. These visits will be supplemented by a virtual office where patients and clinicians may meet in a 3D clinic or anywhere else. A physical examination by a doctor is not required for all appointments; some only require a chat. Digital therapies are one of the finest concepts to profit from the metaverse, as many physical visits can be done digitally.
3. Virtual office and virtual patient visits
Many hospitals have set limitations on patient visits in the aftermath of the COVID-19 epidemic. These visits will be supplemented by a virtual office where patients and clinicians may meet in a 3D clinic or anywhere else.
4. The Role of a metaverse in healthcare Radiology
In the last 10 years, we have witnessed a lot of development in healthcare that depends on technology, starting from scanner machines or software solutions. Imagine that image visualization and manipulation will be more advanced than we are seeing today. Imaging technologies in the metaverse can enable better visualization for radiologists to see dynamic images with more details.
5. Metaverse will revolutionize healthcare training.
Virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence are being used to provide more effective, real-time advice for medical staff training. Within the metaverse, there is enormous potential for surgical training to be revolutionized. Thanks to metaverse technology, students or trainees may one day be able to “enter” a virtual body, allowing for a full-scale view and duplication of genuine operations.
6. The Metaverse will improve mental health resources and treatment.
Rey, a fast-growing metaverse firm located in Texas, offers virtual reality (VR) sessions to assist customers in working through problems that will “rewire the circuitry” that generates anxiety. Doctors are already suggesting using virtual reality gaming to treat mental health issues like brain fog, ADHD, PTSD, and depression. In June 2020, the FDA authorized Akili Interactive as one of the first “prescription-strength” video games to treat ADHD in youngsters.
The metaverse in healthcare would transform healthcare practice quickly if it came with true innovation to meet people’s imagination and expectations. Companies will have to figure out how to create this technology in a way that is both safe for the patient and meets the human aspects.
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