Metaverse isn’t an easy concept to grasp, bringing together everyone and everything in the world into one single networked virtual reality. It’s also tricky to discuss healthcare because it seems so futuristic. But when you consider how connected devices are already changing our lives, it is understandable why this idea of all things being connected has captured the popular imagination.
We are poised on the brink of significant changes looming over us, similar to those experienced during the advent of cell phones or personal computers. The possibilities for connectivity may be endless. However, at its core, what will be most important about this inevitable shift is that it will afford unprecedented access to information and tools for individuals who need them most: physicians and patients alike.
So, what is the Metaverse? It’s a virtual online world that exists parallel to the physical world. It is predicted to be the next step in internet development and has many potential applications for businesses and consumers. For healthcare providers, the Metaverse could offer new opportunities for care delivery, patient engagement, and research. This article explores what is the metaverse and how it could impact healthcare.
Table of Contents
- What Is the Metaverse?
- What Is the Impact of Metaverse in Healthcare?
- What Are the Real-Life Applications of Metaverse These Days?
- Final Thoughts
What Is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is a digital universe envisioned in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel, Snow Crash. In the novel, the protagonist Hiro travels by “jet-board” through this virtual reality environment displayed in his data-glasses which provides teleportation using the “Metaverse Navigator.”
Users can see their surroundings in full 3D graphics and their avatars. The Metaverse consists of interconnected worlds created by its users according to their whims, and each world can be unique depending on what people want inside it.
There are also objects known as “Totems,” which provide information about the person who has left them behind when touched. With Totems, the location of the person who left it can be determined, as well as their health status. Finally, “simstim” is a technology that allows a user to share the sensory experiences of another person.
What Is the Impact of Metaverse in Healthcare?
Metaverse is one of the topics that represent blockchain technology. And even though people are beginning to learn about this topic, the real-world application of Metaverse is still far down the road in healthcare. Many skeptics believe that blockchain can solve problems for healthcare industries. Still, they also note many issues with blockchain prevent it from being widely adopted in healthcare settings.
The idea behind Metaverse is that it will become an interconnected network where users can access data through a secure electronic health records system. It allows patients to view their personal information and share it only with those they permit to receive this information. Metaverse offers immutable storage of medical records and gives patients control over sharing these records with anyone other than their doctor.
But, what kinds of problems does metaverse technology face? One issue is that patients want to maintain their privacy. A patient might not like the idea of having all their medical data be shared through a blockchain system with anyone who has access to it. This can make some individuals less likely to use this type of technology.
But, even though there are substantial security risks, there are several ways that healthcare professionals can protect this data and ensure that sensitive information remains safe on the blockchain network. Since this information is encrypted during storage on the web, only those who have permission will decrypt these records.
Hospitals need help in differentiating themselves from one another. They must first show why patients should choose them from the number of other available options. But, in a world where details about medical care are recorded in a blockchain system that anyone with an internet connection can access, patients will have all the information they need before choosing a hospital. This also allows doctors and nurses to learn from their peers across the country.
This is what makes blockchain technology so appealing. The ability for patients and healthcare providers to access accurate records whenever they need it could lead to better treatments, fewer wait times at doctor visits, and increased overall satisfaction with services provided by these organizations.
Several different companies are looking to develop metaverse networks, but none of these projects has been widely adopted yet. We should expect changes in the future as more people begin to understand the benefits of Metverse powered by blockchain technology and its potential impact on healthcare.
What Are the Real-Life Applications of Metaverse These Days?
Curious how Metaverse is being used today? Here are some examples – although not healthcare-related – that will open your mind to its endless possibilities.
#1 Facebook Horizon
Facebook has Horizon, their version of Oasis that lets users interact, play, collaborate in the virtual world through their Oculus Rift VR.
#2 The Sandbox
The Sandbox allows players to play and build virtual worlds and also enables them to monetize their in-game experiences. They can also buy virtual lands – buy and sell assets – through non-fungible tokens or NFTs. These NFTs are minted in the blockchain network, making the players and owners have genuine digital assets.
#3 Metaverse Studio with AR Technology
Metaverse Studio is infiltrating the educational sector through augmented reality and the virtual world. The Metaverse Studio allows students and teachers to create augmented realities in their classrooms. They can also use the platform to develop apps and enhance their learning experience through virtual activities.
Final Thoughts on What Is the Metaverse
The Metaverse is a hot topic in the tech world these days. But what is the Metaverse, and what does it mean for healthcare? In essence, the Metaverse is a digital representation of the real world, and it allows people to interact with each other and objects in a virtual space.
This could have significant implications for healthcare, enabling doctors to practice surgeries or diagnose diseases in a simulated environment.
It could also provide patients with personalized care plans or even help them manage their health. So far, the Metaverse has only been explored on a limited scale, but its potential is clear. Healthcare professionals should keep an eye on this technology and see how they can use it in their work.
In the meantime, since most healthcare professionals rely on mobile devices, one of the ways to stay HIPAA-compliant in their field when handling patient health information is through the use of HIPAA-compliant online fax services like iFax. While iFax is far from being applied in the Metaverse, so far it’s one of the most trusted mobile faxing apps among medical professionals and healthcare workers.
Feel free to download and test iFax and explore its features and let us know what you think.