Have you heard about the word ‘metaverse’? It is a relevant topic at this moment that is anticipated to cause a dramatic change in the gaming, entertainment, socializing, work, and commerce industry. Most people did not think about how impactful it could be in the field of healthcare. For people to see how it can transform the system of healthcare, it is important to discuss what is metaverse.
The meaning of metaverse is still uncertain and ambiguous since there are a lot of misunderstandings present in this word. It is known to be the next generation of the internet that is composed of the improved use of artificial intelligence or AI, augmented reality or AR, virtual reality or VR, and ever-increasing connectivity such as 5G networks. These will make online platforms more interactive, engaging, and interesting than it is today.
Three significant technological advancements that have the ability to affect healthcare independently are coming together in the metaverse. But when they work together, they could develop completely new ways to offer treatment that could reduce costs and significantly enhance patient outcomes. It includes blockchain, digital twinning, and telepresence that allow individuals to be virtually together even when they are physically apart.
What Is the Importance of Telepresence at the Time of Pandemic?
As the COVID-19 pandemic came into the picture, the provision of healthcare services has been done remotely. There are consultations that do not need physical examinations where you can diagnose minor conditions via telephone or video call. Even if you are miles away from your physician, you can be virtually in the same room with the help of VR or virtual reality. With the help of technology, scans and tests can be sent immediately. Telemedicine consultations are helpful especially for locations that have a shortage of healthcare professionals.
Therapy is another area where it can be helpful. Virtual reality (VR) has been used by psychologists and psychiatrists during conversion therapy in which patients can interact with situations that make them anxious. They’re in safe environments where every aspect of the interactions can be carefully monitored, controlled, and can also be adjusted to individual patients.
Is It Possible for Virtual Hospitals To Be Available?
The “virtual hospital” is known to be a developing project by Latus Healthcare and could be available within 12 to 18 months. It essentially consists of a virtual hospital setting that can be accessed through a headset, with initial treatments concentrating on counseling and physical therapy services. Computer vision will be used in physical therapy, such as when cameras are used to assess a patient’s rehabilitation progress and the range of motion in injured joints. According to Latus, with the help of AR and VR, it is easier and better to give feedback on the progress of patients. Many opportunities will be provided by the metaverse which can directly impact on the delivery of healthcare.
It is normal for the metaverse to face challenges initially, especially since most people do not want to engage in online therapies since they are new and they prefer face-to-face consultations, which are deemed to be effective. Another concern would be the cost of it, since VR headsets are expensive and not all have the same access to healthcare. To conclude, lower costs and better patient outcomes can be achieved if healthcare providers can convincingly demonstrate and prove the effectivity of the innovation.