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Is the Metaverse the New Frontier for Healthcare?

1 min read · 3213 views Bong-Geun Choi Jan 01, 2022

While it is not entirely built out, elements of the metaverse are being used in both medical training and procedures.  As technology advances, the metaverse may offer the potential for significant advances in the field of medicine.

 

Current Metaverse Technologies in Use

Currently, the healthcare industry is utilizing some of the essential components that will ultimately comprise the metaverse, namely, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and artificial intelligence.  As these technologies are built out, the medical industry will likely make greater use of them.

 

Virtual Training

AR and VR are being used extensively in medical training.  Examples include:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) is using AR to train COVID responders, including a training course on the proper techniques and sequences to put on and remove personal protective equipment.
  • Medical schools are using AR and VR to train students to perform a wide range of surgical procedures.  
  • AR and VR allow for a 360-degree view of ailment, as well as the replication of real-life procedures.

 

AR and VR technologies may be used to create real-life situations, allowing students to perform virtual procedures without the risk of making mistakes on human subjects.  It may allow the assemblance of students from far-flung locations to train in one virtual classroom.

 

Real-Life Procedures

AR and VR systems are being used for activities that support diagnoses and pre-surgical preparation and training.  For example, using X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans can create an immersive virtual environment that allows a surgical team to devise the procedure before making the first incision and rehearse the surgery beforehand.

 

AR and VR technology is also being used to assist in surgical procedures.  Such technology was used in June 2020 in when surgeons at Johns Hopkins used AR in a procedure that inserted six screws in a patient’s spine during a spinal fusion surgery.  The surgeons used an AR headset with a see-through eye display that projected images of the patient’s internal anatomy.  The surgeon described it as “having a GPS navigator in front of your eyes in a natural way so you don’t have to look at a separate screen to see your patient’s CT scans."

 

Medical Facility Design

AR and VR technology has been used when designing operating rooms.  The technology allows visualization of all the people, equipment, and surgical setups for various procedures. This virtual process will allow for optimal design without the need of workers being physically present in the operating room. 

 

Moving Forward

Metaverse technology will likely continue to improve.  As such, the potential for its use in the medical field will also likely progress.  

 


 

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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