Rise of Metaverse in Healthcare

Howdy! We are back with an emerging topic in digital health space which is about “Metaverse”. Lets first understand what is Metaverse; Metaverse is the augmented virtual world which is derived by the convergence of virtual and physical space, where users can interact within the augmented world, to meet each other virtually and can immerse themselves in performing virtual activities that gives real experiences.  

While Metaverse is evolving, it holds new potential in healthcare that combines the technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Internet of Medical Devices, Web 3.0, intelligent cloud, edge and quantum computing along with robotics to provide new directions to healthcare.  

But the larger question is - can it bring the cost down while we embed all of them together to create the new health metaverse, in complying within the regulation.  

Nevertheless, lets look at some of the components of the metaverse, that are already making mark in healthcare  

  • Increase use of Virtua Reality in medical training 

Virtual reality is getting used by doctors and experts to train fellow doctors and medical staffs, wherein virtual reality can be leveraged to take a learner within a human body and can provide 3600 view of patient’s ailment or to replicate procedures that are applied in real world.  

The entire interactions can be recorded and viewed over the desktop screens to provide minute details 

  • Use of Augmented reality in Surgical procedures 

As surgical procedures were already using robotics, now complicated surgeries are all set to use augmented realities. Be it removal of cancerous tumors or performing a complicated spinal surgery, doctors are looking forward to new ways of performing these surgeries with precision. Usage of robotics or what is also known as robot assisted surgeries were already in use to perform complicated procedures with precision and flexibility.    

  • Gamification to connect and bring healthcare providers and consumers together 

As platforms like Roblox has changed the way gamification was perceived, more and more users are finding ways to collaborate and connect with other users. Now anyone can imagine, create or have funs with friends through such platforms. When it comes to healthcare, gamification is restricted largely towards wellness and fitness apps. With augmented reality has been seen in smarter workouts or guiding through virtual instructors.  

According to a report by GrandView Research, The global augmented reality market size was valued at USD 17.67 billion in 2020. It is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43.8% from 2021 to 2028.

According to Statista, the VR gaming market revenue in the United States alone is forecast to generate up to 19.5 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2025.

  • Interoperability a key component 

As we know the next wave in healthcare is all about enhancing solutions which are interoperable and open, the metaverse will not be complete if the assets and data that creates these metaverse aren’t easy to port amongst different platforms and networks. Asset classes like avatars, 3D models, mixed-reality, and spatial environments work together with their meta data to form content packages that are the critical components of the metaverse. As the industry would evolve data and communication standards will also evolve making intra metaverse communication.  

  • Techs that will help build metaverse apps rapidly  

With companies like Microsoft supporting different tech stacks to build metaverse apps rapidly, this space is definitely going to get crowded. Some of the tech stacks provided by Microsoft on Azure around Metaverse  

  • Microsoft Mesh and HoloLens  

  • Microsoft Power Platform  

  • Azure AI and Autonomous Systems  

  • Azure Synapse Analytics  

  • Azure Maps  

  • Azure Digital Twins  

On the other side, AWS provides various solutions and services to enable Game Tech –  

  • Amazon GameLift for dedicated server hosting and  

  • FleetIQ to support multiplayer games.  

  • Amazon Lumberyard game engine.  

To conclude Metaverse is an emerging concept that will bring many new dimensions as the big social players bring different aspects of virtual reality and immersive experiences together, for healthcare segment which has largely remain traditional, it will be a great tool to learn, empower and provide blissful experiences to patients and providers.   

Below are some of the interesting news - 

Johns Hopkins Performs Its First Augmented Reality Surgeries in Patients

Johns Hopkins neurosurgeons have performed the institution’s first augmented reality surgeries in living patients. During the first procedure on June 8, 2020, the physicians placed six screws in a patient’s spine for spinal fusion surgery to fuse three vertebrae in order to relieve the patient’s chronic, debilitating back pain. For the second surgery on June 10, surgeons removed a cancerous tumor known as a chordoma from the spine of a patient. The doctors report that both patients are doing well.

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Last year in September, FundamentalVR expands its medical training platform with group learning feature

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Insane AI, Loopin, Streak, others raise funding

Bengaluru-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered fitness training app Insane AI has raised $873,000 in a seed funding round led by early-stage venture capital fund Pi Ventures. 

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One Medical Announces Agreement to Acquire Iora Health

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Sweetch raises $20M for a personalized engagement system designed to boost health outcomes

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Health and wellness apps maker Palta raises $100M Series B led by VNV Global

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If you have a similar story or want to share your initiatives of how you are leveraging digital strategies to build engaging and immersive experiences for patients, doctors, nurses and other stakeholders, please write to us at healthviva@taliun.com

Adios! 

Team Health Viva