The metaverse could be a huge technological change for health care, just like telemedicine and mobile device integration were in the past.
This technology has huge potential because it uses both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology to work in virtual spaces: All signs point to the metaverse being widely used as a disruptive change in healthcare, from better surgical precision to therapeutic uses to social-distance accommodations and more.
But along with these improvements come new problems that will change what we know about modern healthcare. The metaverse is a paradigm shift in healthcare that everyone involved needs to be aware of. This is because it changes how medical infrastructure is built, how startup costs are covered, and how data security and privacy are handled.
To help you understand how the metaverse development services will change healthcare as a whole, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this technology that are already making a difference in healthcare.
Before we talk about these things, let’s start by talking about what the metaverse is.
A sneak peek into what exactly the Metaverse is?
The gaming industry and groups like Facebook (now called Meta) have been working on the metaverse for years. It is an AR/VR interface where users are immersed in visual, auditory, and haptic sensors to meet other users in a virtual world that has been augmented. Web 3 standards like blockchain can be added to the metaverse to help with ownership, online payments, tracking, and other things.
In the metaverse, people do virtual things that give them real experiences and results in the real world. This has led to a number of applications that are changing how we communicate (in much the same way that the Internet and smartphones have).
At first glance, Meta’s idea of a metaverse seems like a technology that will be used for games and entertainment. However, the widespread use of AR/VR tech in fields like architecture, manufacturing, and supercomputing has shown that it can meet the needs of healthcare.
As the metaverse keeps changing and is used more and more in healthcare settings, you can expect this technology to give healthcare new directions that include:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Virtual Reality (VR)
- Augmented Reality (AR)
- Extended Realities (XR)
- Web 3.0
- Intelligent cloud
- Edge computing
- Even more
Advantages of the Metaverse for Health Care Industry
The growing role of virtual reality in Medical Training
The immersive parts of the Metaverse are a great way to train medical staff. Here are some ways that the Metaverse is changing how doctors are trained:
- Simulation training, in which, for example, trainees get a close-up look at a surgeon’s procedure while using tactile haptic controls, is one example.
- Exams can be checked using video recordings of how things were done during practice.
- Interactive training modules that make it easier to learn key ideas. For example, VR can take a learner inside the human body and show a 360-degree view of a patient’s illness.
The Metaverse Can Be Used for Digital Therapy
The Metaverse is already showing that it could be used in new ways to help people. Digital therapeutics are becoming more popular quickly. With VR and AR tech in the metaverse, this type of therapy can be used for cognitive therapy, support groups, psychiatric evaluations, rehabilitation, and even physical therapy with the help of haptic sensors.
Know Here – How to Develop Metaverse?
The COVID-19 pandemic will speed up the development of digital therapies that bridge the gap between the real world and the digital world. For example, nurses can meet with patients in the Metaverse, with the help of remote monitoring, to check on them and talk with them every day.
Using Augmented Reality in Surgical Procedures
Surgical procedures already use high-tech tools like robotics, so the Metaverse is expected to be a useful tool that will help with complicated surgeries and improve care for patients.
The Metaverse has already caused a lot of buzz and speculation about what it can do in almost every part of surgery:
- Surgeons will work on surgeries together in a virtual operating room with help from other consultants and specialists.
- Surgeons will be able to see a patient’s vital signs, pictures, medical history, and other important information on a screen.
- New technology that works with the Metaverse can give quick test results in real time to help patients do better.
At first, it will be slow to use the Metaverse because it needs to be tested in clinical trials before it can be used in surgery. As with integrating robot-assisted surgery, the Metaverse will become more important as it is used more.
Metaverse in the field of radiology
One area of healthcare that will benefit from the metaverse’s immersive visuals is radiology imaging. This is because the metaverse will make possible new things in radiology, such as:
- More ways to see and manipulate images
- Viewing dynamic images with more details can help doctors figure out what’s wrong or what’s hurt better.
- Makes it easier for doctors to work closely together on 3D medical images
Wearable medical devices in the Metaverse
Metaverse will make it easier for both patients and doctors to use medical wearables. Monitors for COPD, for example, can tell emergency staff and caregivers to check on a patient’s health if they have a COPD flare-up.
It is also thought that wearables will give doctors better data, which will make virtual appointments in the Metaverse better by using real-time and collected data.
Problems that the Metaverse poses for Healthcare Industry
Getting people interested in the Metaverse
How will Meta and other tech companies get people to join the metaverse? For any new technology to catch on in the market, it’s up to the people who use it.
This makes me wonder how trustworthy and useful the metaverse is. For example, would older people who don’t know much about technology be able to go into the metaverse and get the best care? Or, would meetings in the metaverse be seen as just as valuable as meetings in person?
Concerns about privacy and security in the Metaverse
Another problem is making sure that patient information in the metaverse is safe. Cybercriminals often go after healthcare because it is a high-value and easy target. Adding the metaverse to healthcare opens up a whole new set of problems that must be solved.
Also, privacy is always a concern when there are more patient records. It’s still too early to tell if patients will feel comfortable communicating and interacting with the metaverse as a whole, but early results look good.
Problems With Interoperability
Interoperability is a key part of the way healthcare is done today, and it’s also one of the hardest things to do with new technologies. Adding another element like the metaverse can have big and unpredictable effects on which devices are easy to move between different platforms and networks. If the whole healthcare industry doesn’t quickly come up with new data and communication standards, the metaverse will be slow to catch on and may even have some bad effects.
The price of technology is high
For the metaverse in healthcare to reach its full potential, it needs a lot of infrastructure. From uninterrupted 5G to high-tech hardware like glasses, sensors, and other wearables, many doctors and hospitals may not be able to afford the startup.
This also affects the patients, who may need special tools to keep up with their treatments and supervision. Would insurance companies pay for devices that let people access the metaverse, or would patients have to pay for them?
New business models
To stay in business, all healthcare companies will need to come up with a new business model that includes the metaverse. Here are a few things to think about in terms of how much the metaverse will change healthcare:
- Insurance companies may decide to pay for virtual health visits differently than for visits in person.
- For liability reasons, malpractice lawsuits may need to know how much time was spent in the metaverse.
- Commercial payers will need special medical codes for sessions that take place in the metaverse.
- Software companies will have to make sure that their software and devices work with the metaverse.
- There will need to be a lot of discussion about whether or not doctors should be able to prescribe drugs and/or treatments virtually.
Metaverse is definitely the next big thing, and not just in the medical field. However, it will take another ten years before hospitals and medical practices start using it regularly.
In conclusion, the metaverse is becoming an immersive technology that has a lot of potential to improve patient care across the whole spectrum of healthcare.
Still, there will be problems that will force people to pay close attention to the metaverse’s many new and changing dimensions. By thinking about these possible problems, healthcare will be able to set better goals for this new and immersive technology.