Everyone became interested in the Virtual Reality-based metaverse and its effects on our lives after Facebook's recent statement that it was changing its name to Meta went viral online. But it's crucial to understand that Facebook is only one of the many significant figures who have helped to make the metaverse a reality. Many individuals today are ignorant of how the metaverse can transform many different businesses, including the medical field. Virtual Reality (VR), the metaverse's underlying technology, has demonstrated promising outcomes in the field of healthcare.
Traditional medical school has limited resources for performing surgery, in part because hospitals find it expensive to perform treatments on cadavers, which has an impact on a student's tuition costs. Nevertheless, students can learn in a simulated setting for the goal of immersive surgical training at a substantially cheaper cost through the use of VR in medical training.
Additionally, dissecting a virtual subject rather than a real cadaver saves money and allows students to work independently for instruction. The VR-based cadaver training sessions can improve the technical proficiency, including accuracy and decision-making abilities, of surgical trainees.
As surgeons constantly seek out more effective ways to complete surgeries with a better success rate, technology will be used in the metaverse for difficult surgical procedures as well. As a preventative strategy, clinicians can estimate a patient's recovery period, any potential difficulties, and the necessary treatments for these complications using the data set gathered through the creation of a patient's digital twin.
The use of virtual reality as a training and practise tool for surgical procedures is also relatively recent, despite the fact that robot-assisted operations are already routine for carrying out complex procedures with precision and flexibility. Such a teaching approach was essential during the pandemic since med schools and nursing programs had to stop holding offline lessons, which was extremely upsetting for all students. In fact, the education industry of the medical industry can overcome a lot of these issues thanks to the metaverse.
Since the pandemic, there has been an unheard-of increase in online medical consultation since distant consultation is far more practical for ailments and illnesses that simply require visual examination. Additionally, the trend of online consultations will probably persist even after the pandemic because it might be quite difficult for some older patients to visit doctors. It is quite likely that remote consultations will move from video calling applications to the more immersive and sophisticated metaverse as a result of the necessity for remote consultation and continued efforts to utilise VR in the medical sector. A global network of physicians in the metaverse can eliminate the need for regional online consultation services by bridging the gap between patients and healthcare providers by offering high-quality health services that may not be available locally.
It may seem strange for adults to choose a platform with cartoon avatars in a world of make-believe where everything is virtual. The metaverse, however, has such profound ramifications that it promises to transform medical procedures. For instance, it can be used to quickly and efficiently share a patient's whole medical history with their doctor, which has been collected and organised for reference. In the meantime, using high-resolution 3D modelling, the VR perspective of the metaverse can also enable clinicians to take a more thorough look at a patient's radiology data. Additionally, data collection can be done from your home thanks to the advancement of technology and portable medical devices like oximeters, heart rate monitors, and blood pressure monitors that can connect to the internet. Data about a patient can significantly enhance the diagnosis and management of their medical conditions because the future of healthcare is data-driven.
The implications are vast if we discuss how the metaverse might alter how operation theatres function. For example, with completely integrated vital sign monitoring and invasive procedures, doctors can perform real surgical procedures for training or contact experts for assistance in the event of an emergency. Furthermore, it's not unusual to find small kids who are bored or who are afraid of clinics and hospitals. If so, visiting a doctor in the metaverse can offer a more enjoyable experience, which might allay their concerns. Additionally, it can make it simpler to teach kids the value of good cleanliness and a balanced diet in a fun and engaging way.
Use of VR for Patient Therapy
The metaverse has great promise for providing medical professionals with novel therapeutic approaches. Acrophobics and glossophobia can now be treated by gradually and frequently exposing them to risky, uncomfortable circumstances that help them build mental resistance to their phobias. It has also become common knowledge to employ VR to treat mental illnesses like OCD and social anxiety.
Through virtual support networks, the metaverse will also offer a secure haven for persons who require direction. Sadly, the problem with the present support groups is poor communication among the participants.
The unusual approach meets the patients' physical and psychological needs as well, hastening their recovery.
These psychological characteristics have been found to be important in treating pain, as doctors have observed that VR technology replaces the use of opioids when treating burn victims' wounds. In a similar vein, kids who had their blood tested while engrossed in a VR-enhanced intervention reported considerably less pain than kids who were diverted by conventional techniques. Although colour and sound therapy have been used for thousands of years, using VR to calm a patient's mind is a relatively new approach that has had positive outcomes. As a result, the healthcare sector is probably going to involve patients in the metaverse for better pain management.
Notwithstanding the privacy and security issues raised by the concept of the metaverse, medical professionals are ready to make use of technological breakthroughs for better patient care. That's because Web 3.0, the platform for the metaverse, will include decentralised applications that enable a decentralised cryptocurrency economy and is built on blockchain technology. Additionally, it is clear that a VR-based metaverse will play a crucial part in altering the healthcare industry with additional technical improvements given that the VR healthcare market was valued at $1206.6 million in 2021 and is projected to reach $11,657.8 million by 2028. It would be fascinating to see further medical breakthroughs as the Internet of Things gains traction.