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Are Metaverse Pharmacies the Future?

1 min read · 1119 views Bong-Geun Choi May 12, 2023

In March 2022, CVS took steps to launch a pharmacy in the metaverse.  During the same month, iMining also took steps to launch a pharmaceutical platform in metaverse virtual world Decentraland. 

 

What may pharmacies in the metaverse look like?  How can investors gain access to companies that may be poised to benefit from the metaverse?

 

What May a Metaverse Pharmacy Look Like?

Many retail companies are already setting up stores and showrooms in the metaverse where consumers, via their personal avatars, may view and browse a company’s physical or digital products and purchase physical or digital goods. Payments may be made through cryptocurrency. 

 

Pharmacies would be similar.

 

They would allow individuals to receive many of the same services they receive in a physical pharmacy without having to leave their homes.

 

More Than Just Filling Prescriptions

Patients could consult with a meta-pharmacist to either have their prescriptions filled. But they would also be able to do more.

 

As described in the online periodical HealthNews,[1] a visit to a metaverse pharmacy could look like the following:

 

  • Enter the virtual pharmacy as a digital avatar and receive medical advice from a virtual pharmacist or meta consultant
  • Select items or drugs from a virtual shelf and hand them to the meta pharmacist
  • Pay for the items/medicine with cryptocurrencies, where the transaction would be recorded in a blockchain and stored in your virtual health record
  • Receive the items at your physical address, possibly via drone

 

Patients could also get advice from meta-pharmacists on how to monitor their prescriptions, how to take the drugs, receive reminders, and track their medicine.

 

Current Initiatives

In March 2022, CVS filed a with the U.S. Patent Trade Office for a trademark to sell virtual goods and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and to provide healthcare services in the virtual world.  The company wants to bring the health services that it offers in its stores to the virtual setting.[2]

 

Also in March, iMining created a new virtual land in Decentraland that includes pharmaceutical services.  The service will also allow individuals to fill and renew prescriptions, and to receive online consultations with meta-pharmacists.[3]

 

Some Limitations and Concerns

Of course, not all services performed in physical pharmacies can be performed in virtual space.  For example, vaccines could not be administered virtually.  Additionally, as with all online endeavors, consumer privacy is always an issue.

 


[1] Vanta, Brindusa, Metaverse Pharmacies: What to Expect, HealthNews, 1/31/23

[2] CVS Aims to Be First Pharmacy in the Metaverse, PYMNTS, 3/4/22

[3] McCutcheon, Brieanna, iMining Moves Into Decentraland, The Market Herald, 3/24/22


 

Bong-Geun Choi

Chief Economist

bchoi@fountinvestment.com

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Risk Disclosure:

 

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. There is no guarantee the Funds will achieve their stated objectives. In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, international investments may involve the risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, differences in generally accepted accounting principles, or social, economic, or political instability in other nations. Emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors, as well as increased volatility and lower trading volume. 

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