Loading...

What is the role of metaverse in the healthcare Industry?

What is the role of metaverse in the healthcare Industry?
24 Jun, 2022
Loading...

In June 2020, John Hopkins neurosurgeons successfully fused three vertebras using six screws in a patient using augmented reality (AR) to cure consistent back pain. In another instance, leveraging augmented reality, doctors removed a cancerous tumour from the spine of a patient. These are only a few examples of how metaverse is gradually gaining traction in healthcare. Augmented reality, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and quantum computing are all expected to transform healthcare delivery and improve patient outcomes. In fact, according to a report released by InsightAce Analytic, the overall metaverse healthcare market was valued at 5.06 Billion in 2021, and it is anticipated to reach 71.97 Billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 34.8 per cent.

While it’s still at a nascent stage, more steered towards arts and gaming, the combination of AR, VR, AI, Web 3.0, intelligent cloud, IoT, quantum computing and robotics certainly possess immense ability to create new channels to deliver care that can not only improve outcomes but lower costs for providers as well. 

Why Healthcare Providers are planning to Foray intoMetaverse

Loading...

The concept of metaverse has been existing for years but it’s now only that its actual scope and possibilities are being realised. Here’s how it can open up new avenues of carefor healthcare providers:

Enable Better Remote Care and Therapy

The telemedicine market in India has already shown remarkable growth during the pandemic and is expected to reach 10.6 billion dollars by 2025 growing at nearly 40 per cent. Reports have also shown that active telemedicine users increased by 35 per cent from 2019 to 2020 and 17 per cent from 2020 to 2021 for some well-established connected care platforms. The trend is expected to continue in the metaverse which will further enhance the capabilities of care. Since treatments enabled through VR are not physically restricted, a patient in Europe can consult a specialist in India by virtually being in the same room simply by wearing VR-enabled headsets. This can be especially useful for countries like India where there is still a severe shortage of medical professionals as well as adequate healthcare facilities, mostly in rural and remote areas. Patient care through metaverse can give physicians and patients more control over the treatment of diseases by allowing regular reporting and follow-up sessions.

Loading...

In mental health therapy also, it can play a crucial role. As a matter of fact, VR technology is already being used by psychiatrists and psychologists for aversion therapy where patients’ interactions with stressful or anxious situations can be easily monitored and controlled.

Enhance Medical Education

Apart from transforming procedures and processes, AR and VR are also changing medical education and training. Presently, AI is being implemented to train medical students in surgeries such as blood clot removal. With VR, medical students will further be able to look inside the human body virtually which would provide them with a clear perspective and help replicate natural treatments. Increasingly immersive experiences can be created where students get hands-on training on surgeries. There are limitless possibilities for building creativity, solving problems and creating learning spaces in the metaverse.

Loading...

Better Predict and Improve Outcomes

The digital twin is another aspect of metaverse that can allow the simulation or creation of a virtual model of any system, process or object using real-world data. This means that a patient’s digital twin can be created and used as test dummies that would enable doctors to know everything from how he/she would react to a certain medicine to how would the person recover from surgery. This would give doctors the ability to devise the best treatment approach. The technology can also notify whether the virtual dummy develops any side effects so that preventive actions can also be devised. The same type of trial and error can also be applied to developing drugs and medicines, analysing viruses, studying plants and animals, and everything else that can be easily solved with such simulations.

Data Security

Loading...

Underpinning cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain happens to be an important part of metaverse application in healthcare. The technology makes sure that data can be transferred and stored in such a way that no one else other than the owner can access it. Presently, crucial data is frequently transferred between different healthcare providers in an opaque and inefficient manner. It is vulnerable to data theft that can pose a security risk to millions of patients. However, with the application of blockchain technology, every person can own their records that areunhackable and consent can be provided to others to access the same. Blockchain technology can be applied to the Indian medical space in different ways, to reduce costs and provide better access to healthcare.

Road Ahead

In healthcare, metaverse will allow healthcare professionals to deliver more collaborative treatment programs that are not restricted by the present siloed nature of the healthcare system. Additionally, it will also enable swift information sharing between doctors and other healthcare staff which indicates that underlying causes of illness could be more quickly established. Patient monitoring in the metaverse means that factors like compliance could be easily tracked, which would further help with diagnosing and treating diseases.

Loading...

As healthcare accelerates towards value-based care, the fast adoption of metaverse among healthcare providers remains a true possibility over the coming years. But before implementation, it is essential for healthcare providers to understand what patients require and how this innovative technology can serve an unmet need.

Vineet Aggarwal

Vineet Aggarwal


Vineet Aggarwal CIO of Paras Healthcare.