Telemedicine changed the patient physician relationship to a new level. It benefited both sides. But telemedicine is taking a new shift towards metaverse telehealth. With the advent of metaverse, the benefits of metaverse telehealth is going to be massive.
In this blog post, I will walk you through the new world of metaverse telehealth. I will first explain to you the concept of metaverse telehealth. Then, you will come to know the benefits of metaverse telehealth. At last, I will present to you the challenges in metaverse telehealth.
- METAVERSE TELEHEALTH
- BENEFIT OF METAVERSE TELEHEALTH
- CHALLENGES IN METAVERSE TELEHEALTH
Telehealth or Telemedicine is a massive game changer in the healthcare industry. It is a thing of the past now. The advent of metaverse is changing each and every industry like gaming, manufacturing, finance, real Estate and the healthcare industry.
Metaverse Telehealth might be the best way to get medical advice, speak to your doctor or go through a surgical procedure. But how will this happen and how metaverse is changing the healthcare industry?
But what is metaverse telehealth? I will explain it in the next section. For those who are new to the concept of metaverse, you can go through the following post to get a clear cut concept of metaverse.
WHAT IS METAVERSE TELEHEALTH?
Metaverse Telehealth is the combination of Metaverse Technology and Telehealth Concept. So, in simple words metaverse telehealth is the use of metaverse and its related technologies like AR/VR, AI, Blockchain and Web3 in healthcare.
Just imagine a hospital or doctor clinic in a virtual world. You can do all the things you do in telehealth in this virtual world but there is more to it. You will get a fair knowledge of things that are going to happen in metaverse telehealth in this blog.
TECHNOLOGIES ESSENTIAL FOR METAVERSE TELEHEALTH
Metaverse Telehealth will be built on and will integrate technologies as listed below.
- Blockchain Technology
- Augmented Reality(AR)/Virtual Reality (VR)/Mixed Reality (MR)
- Edge Computing
- Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning
BENEFIT OF METAVERSE TELEHEALTH
Metaverse is in its infancy stage. There is a lot to be improved in the metaverse. You can see the improvement in 5-6 years. Along with this improvement you can see there will be major changes in metaverse telehealth in time to come.
In this section, I will stick to the benefits of metaverse telehealth. Alongwith the benefits of metaverse telehealth I will highlight some use cases of metaverse telehealth.
TRANSFORM MEDICAL EDUCATION
This is the first and important benefit metaverse telehealth will bring. Medical education relies on practical work like surgery and training. Immersive technology like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are perfect vehicles to train medical staff and students.
The best example is simulation training. In simulation training of metaverse telehealth, trainees get an up close view of a surgeon’s procedure. Simulation training is enhanced with tactile haptic controls that makes it immersive.
Metaverse education including metaverse telehealth is going to be mass adopted by most of the educational institutions and students.
Intuitive Surgical is a company that is pioneers of robotic-assisted surgery. It has a huge potential moving to metaverse telehe alth.
Many smaller companies are investing in digital healthcare to improve the telemedicine experience through augmented reality. It is a positive sign that in near future metaverse telehealth will be mass adopted.
ACCESSIBLE HEALTHCARE TO REMOTE AREAS OF THE WORLD
Metaverse telehealth will make all types of healthcare accessible to remote part of the world. Metaverse technologies like AIR are making medical experiences more convenient and safe for the patients.
Surgeons might meet in a virtual operating theater and they can collaborate together in surgery with assistance from other consultants and experts during the surgery. This has already happened and is happening frequently.
Through Microsoft Hololens, a surgeon from the United States helped surgeons in Ghana to operate a complex surgery in a remote part of Ghana.
In the near future, your doctor will be able to see your health profile and data, and the history of your vital organs. They can easily navigate among multiple patient data this would make it more convenient in surgeries and surgeons become more empowered with virtual tools.
METAVERSE TELEHEALTH WILL TRANSFORM PATIENT VISITS AND SUPPORT
This is one of the major benefits Metaverse Telehealth is going to bring to us. Metaverse telehealth will transform patient visits and support.
Do you think you need to visit a doctor everytime physically? I think it’s no. Most of the time you just need consultation from the doctor. Metaverse will change the old culture of physical visits to doctors.
Metaverse Telehealth has a great potential as a lot of physical visits can be done virtually. There is going to be a virtual hospital in any metaverse platform where where patients and physicians can meet in a 3D Clinic.This is expected to give a much better user experience when it comes to teleconsultation services.
TRANSFORMING FAMILY VISIT TO PATIENT THROUGH VIRTUALIZATION
Metaverse Telehealth will change the way you can visit someone who is in hospital. You and I have experience of not being able to see our family members during COVID-19 pandemic. It will be completely changed by metaverse related technology.
You will be able to visit a friend or a family member after a surgery or a critical health condition at the hospital through Metaverse Telehealth. You can virtually meet them and see their face and condition.
This will give the patients a lot of emotional support and make them feel much better. This is one of the benefits of metaverse telehealth.
DIGITAL THERAPEUTIC APPLICATIONS OF THE METAVERSE
The metaverse is already showing signs of new opportunities in therapeutic applications. Digital therapeutics are seeing rapid adoption. Metaverse technologies like VR and AR are making this possible.
Metaverse Telehealth will enable the following types of therapeutic application.They are listed below.
- cognitive therapy
- support groups
- psychiatric evaluations
- Physical therapy with support of haptic sensors.
This will be one the best benefits of metaverse telehealth.
VIRTUAL HEALTH ASSISTANT OR VIRTUAL NURSE
In Metaverse Telehealth, an avatar based personal virtual assistant or virtual nurse can be a reality. This virtual health assistant or virtual nurse can meet patients in the metaverse aided with remote monitoring. This will help you to perform daily checkups and discussions.
You might hang out with our personal health assistant or the virtual nurse in the future. She/he can tell you all the time what’s going on with your body. This will be a great benefit of telehealth metaverse.
You might have to wear AR/VR glass when you get notification to connect to your virtual nurse. The virtual nurse will be able suggest you what you have to do or not to do.
So, metaverse telehealth will be very helpful in remote monitoring where nurses can meet patients in the metaverse and perform the daily checks and discussions. This will be one of the great benefits of metaverse telehealth.
CHALLENGES IN METAVERSE TELEHEALTH
From many benefits of metaverse telehealth, there will be many challenges as of now. Since, metaverse is at its infant stage it is obvious there will be challenges. As the technologies advance, most of the challenges will be mitigated.
As of now, there are 3 challenges as listed below. All the challenges are discussed in detail.
BRIDGING VIRTUAL WORLD WITH REAL WORLD
This is one of the major challenges not only in metaverse telehealth but other application of metaverse. To bridge the virtual world and real world, numerous clinical trials and use cases will have to be dealt with.
To truly understand if and how this metaverse can be used safely for patient care, companies have to find a solution. The solution not only has to be safe for patients but cater to the humanitarian side.
You know healthcare is not just about treating the symptoms but additionally it’s also about treating the person.
USE OF METAVERSE TELEHEALTH HARDWARES
AR and VR technology hold incredible promise for metaverse telehealth. It must also be developed in a way that does not encroach upon or mitigate the
- humanistic and
patient physician relationship that has long defined healthcare.
SECURITY & PRIVACY OF PATIENT DATA
When it comes to attracting an audience to the metaverse, one major challenge is the privacy and securing patients data. Two things need to be protected.
- Protected Health Information (PHI)
- Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI)
So, lawmakers will need to update guidelines that accommodate the wealth of information
that the metaverse telehealth provides.
Furthermore, privacy is always a concern with greater amounts of patient data. The ease of patients to communicate and interact with the metaverse will need time.
HIGH COST OF TECHNOLOGY
To enable full benefit of metaverse telehealth, it requires massive infrastructure to function. You need
- High Bandwidth technology like 5G
- Hardware like AR/VR Headsets.
- Sensors, Wearables
- Training to use metaverse telehealth technology.
This will create a huge initial cost to the healthcare system. But it will provide benefits of metaverse telehealth to everyone in the long run.
In this blog post, I have discussed in detail the benefits of metaverse telehealth and its challenges. Healthcare in the metaverse is going to explode through metaverse telehealth. It will transform medical education, accessibility of healthcare facilities, patient visit and more.
There are some major challenges to the benefit of metaverse telehealth. High initial cost of metaverse hardware, bridging virtual and real world and security & privacy of patient data are major challenges.