The Metaverse: Expanding the Doctor’s Toolbox, Not Replacing It!

The Metaverse
Medical Writing has spoken with experts who are committed to promoting virtual reality in Health

Since Mark Zuckerberg announced his intention to promote the Metaverse, a digital environment that people can access as avatars, Experts extol all the opportunities provided by this universe, in which you may interact through gadgets like virtual reality glasses and other accessories, as the idea has become more and more popular.

The field of Medicine is no stranger to the potential of this digital universe. “For a long time, opportunities for usage in healthcare and care have been presented by virtual and augmented reality. With the power provided by mobile access with 5G and the Metaverse concept, its possibilities are multiplying by allowing its use with greater agility, speed, and realistic immersion sensation “, Doctor Pedro Cano, a specialist in digital health.

For his part, Francisco Sendra, a radiologist, and professor at the University of Malaga believe that the Metaverse will offer Medicine a development of the current possibilities of the Internet: ” For example, a virtual hospital in the Metaverse that replicates a real hospital can allow users to know exactly where the different services, offices, and units are located and what they look like, prior to a real visit. Also, you can walk into a room and get information on a procedure or select to see how it is performed and what prerequisites need to be considered.”

“The Metaverse can be an interesting market for Medicine”

Cano declared that the Metaverse is “without a doubt” a lucrative market for medicine. He stated that the cost-benefit analysis should be done in comparison to other current systems and that it “must be assessed and viewed as another channel of communication and doctor-patient interaction.”

For now, according to the Digital Health expert, it seems that the Metaverse is more “an element to advertise the products and services of hospitals, private clinics, pharmacies, universities, pharmaceutical companies and all kinds of health companies.”

He has insisted that it offers medical practitioners a wide range of opportunities, nevertheless. The most clinical and caring applications for virtual and augmented reality, he said this publication, “range from the superimposition of relevant information about a patient or the simulation of medical operations to its usage in schools for patients in illnesses Like.”

Likewise, he has evaluated other applications such as the treatment of “phobias, physical rehabilitation, assessment of brain injuries and neurorehabilitation “, as well as training students and medical personnel. Sendra, who has been using the Metaverse in her teaching for more than ten years, has agreed on this point.

The Metaverse, key to the training of medical students

“Our experience since 2011 covers more than 3,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. We have verified that activities similar to those carried out in the classroom can be successfully carried out, such as courses, workshops, and teamwork; in scenarios that are more attractive than the 2D format”, the Radiology professional.

Mainly, he has highlighted the possibility that the Metaverse offers to use scenarios that would be “excessively expensive” in actual practice. In addition, committed to this type of teaching, Sendra has been playing a radiology learning game called ‘League of Rays’ for seven consecutive years.

It is a competition in which, over six weeks, the students who participate go to the island where it takes place on demand to read content and solve tasks. 468 students from more than 20 different medical schools have finished the game in the last three years, and he explained that it has been a very intriguing experience that they are currently reviewing.

The Future of Medicine in the Metaverse

The potential benefits of medicine in the Metaverse in the future have been highly regarded by both Sendra and Cano. The instructor has an impact on the learning chances he can provide, such as “the simulation of clinical circumstances, in which users have to interact in a medical context, even with a simulated patient, represented by their avatar.”

All parties have agreed that it will not replace doctors’ roles, but it will enhance some, including communication or access to therapies and training, as well as expand the possibilities for patients and those living with diseases to provide remote self-care. Chronicles.

As the Public Health expert has explained: “The Metaverse makes it possible  to provide a virtual space and applications that facilitate interaction through an avatar with patients, without any risk to health and without the need for the person to have to travel to the consultation or to the medical center.”

Finally, Cano has qualified that there are still many obstacles, such as the attitude of people towards ‘online’ treatments or the inequality of access to virtual reality elements, wherein Sendra has added the necessity to safeguard patient privacy in the digital context, which is currently rather expensive.

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