- According to Accenture’s digital health technology Vision 2022, nearly 81% of healthcare executives were on board with VR in the medical industry.
- Through augmented reality and AI capabilities, the medical industry can use movement, space and interaction to enable different diagnoses.
- The introduction of ASMR into the Metaverse completely immerses the patient in an environment that improves their mental and emotional state.
Currently, there are several web3 applications actively being utilized in different industries. Primarily Web 3 technology comprises four main practical applications, namely, cryptocurrency, NFT, AI and Metaverse. Blockchain technology is the fundamental element that makeup Web3. The Metaverse is often associated with gaming experience and Virtual reality, but this is just the tip of its capabilities. One of its recent innovative applications is establishing Virtual reality in the medical industry. Indeed, Metaverse in healthcare is no longer a hypothesis but a practical concept pioneering digitalization in healthcare. This new technology in the medical industry has numerous applications that have transformative potential when appropriately applied.
Aside from its Medical applications, the Metaverse can also significantly aid medical education in Africa. Let’s dive in to see how Metaverse in healthcare is made possible and where it can assist in Africa’s overall development.
Metaverse in Africa
With the 4th Industrial revolution closing, the constant shift to Web3 applications has created a frenzy among various continents, more Africa. As mentioned earlier, Web3 has four main elements, each leading to a drastic revolution within Africa’s ecosystem. The fundamental building block of this semantic web, blockchain technology, comprises various factors that are highly compatible with Africa’s ecosystem. One of its more revolutionary aspects, the Metaverse, has awed the globe with its futuristic capabilities. The term Virtual reality was a concept that Web3 applications released decades ago. At the time, many thought of it as science fiction, especially in Africa. Although, we were all proven wrong as the concept ended up being an actuality.Only recently was Africa able to interact and actively participate within the Metaverse. It was only a matter of time before numerous African innovators and entrepreneurs saw this new virtual reality as a lucrative opportunity.
The Metaverse went on to build and provide a suitable environment for NFT artists and crypto traders within the content. In truth, all semantic web elements complement each and, when put together, form and self-sufficient web three application. Metaverse provides the digital environment that houses each venture and individual. Cryptocurrency is the financial system of the Metaverse, while NFTs provide a sense of ownership within the ecosystem. Blockchain technology and AI form the building blocks of the Metaverse.
Fortunately, Africa broadened the use of the Metaverse to help developers have an eco-friendly platform to nurture the innovative minds of young Africans. The digitalization of various industries in Africa led to the rapid growth of the Metaverse. The Metaverse has transformed each application from Africa’s retail industry to its educational system. Fortunately, digitalization in healthcare has established a new medical technology that allows users to gain experience while still gaining accurate and efficient readings.
Metaverse in Healthcare
When Web 3 developers introduced the notion of Metaverse in healthcare, it surprisingly gained positive feedback. According to Accenture’s digital health technology Vision 2022, nearly 81% of healthcare executives were on board with VR in the medical industry. To most medical practitioners, this would provide new technology in the medical industry that will provide even greater accuracy and efficiency.This new Web3 application introduces health4.0 by combining AI, AR and VR in the medical industry to improve outcomes and allow patients to understand their health condition clearly.
The Metaverse currently has improved critical elements in the medical industry. They include;
This was one of Metaverse’s inial and most predictable applications in healthcare. During the Covid pandemic, most universities in Africa and globally had to opt for E-learning to continue with most curriculums. Africa’s diverse nature significantly boosted the number f individuals with access to education. Despite its broad reach, it significantly diluted the quality of education in some professions, which required a more hands-on approach.
As such, graduates during the Covid period have difficulty entering the real world since most lessons comprised lectures, videos and theories. Digitalization in health care education significantly had more demerits than benefits. The Metaverse in healthcare provides a more interactive platform regardless of physical location. It initiates a virtual experience that places users in the actual scenario.
This teaches them sensitivity, kindness and the procedures required in the medical industry. Simulated operating rooms also allow medical students to interact with various tools and practice several safety procedures that doctors encounter o daily. This web3 application significantly and efficiently depicts the concept of decentralization in an education system without compromising on the quality of education.
Metaverse in healthcare provides new technology to the medical industry allowing it to gain more sophisticated and accurate information. Through augmented reality and AI capabilities, the medical industry can use movement, space and interaction to enable different diagnoses.
By tracking a patient’s eye movement, the Metaverse in healthcare can identify specific neurological markers or spot eye conditions such as glaucoma. Furthermore, its AI capabilities provide a more comprehensive range of diagnoses that would further assist in analyzing any medical information. The digitalization of the healthcare industry in Africa is rapidly growing, but it still needs more efficiency. Metaverse in healthcare ensures that any medical data is processed promptly and efficiently.
One underrated functionality of this new technology in the medical industry is its ability to improve a patient’s emotional control. While using headsets, patients can access a virtual reality medical setting focusing on counselling and physical therapy treatments.The introduction of ASMR into the Metaverse completely immerses the patient in an environment that improves their mental and emotional state. VR in the medical industry can provide camping narratives that encourage one to have control over their body and physiological responses. In addition, mental health can significantly improve by constantly providing routine checkups through the use of headsets. In addition, it can also help patients learn about the various routines and procedures required to take responsibility for their health.
One of the main issues that plague Africa’s medical industry is congestion. Most of the time, African hospitals have a poor quality of service due to the large crowds. Implementing Metaverse in healthcare can create a decentralized medical industry where patients receive the necessary and adequate medical information directly from their homes. This is an improved version of digitalization in healthcare since the incorporation of AR and AI guarantees that the patient will receive a professional outlook. In addition, VR can create a hospital environment for patients.
BehaVR immerses patients in a virtual environment via an evidence-based platform. This empowers people with lifelong coping mechanisms and resources to distinguish stress, anxiety and fear.
Tokenization, Decentralization and Delivery
One significant factor plaguing Africa’s medical industry is the inefficiency of a centralized database. Hospitals can quickly establish a decentralized or blockchain-based database through Metaverse in healthcare to store all patient records. In addition, this provides a secure platform for sharing and managing patient records.
As previously mentioned, Metaverse provides the necessary environment that houses other elements of Web3 applications. This fact also benefits other sectors within Africa’s medical industry, such as secure payments and identity management.
Furthermore, AI incorporated alongside VR in the medical industry can analyze and asses all medical records, with the user’s permission, to process future predictions. This enables s hospitals to know and predicts whether a patient is genuinely getting better. In addition, its decentralized nature enables patients to acquire their medical information and any alteration to the dosage promptly. This addresses the issue of delivery within digitalization in healthcare sectors.
Why Metaverse in healthcare will take some time in Africa.
Despite its revolutionary applications, Metaverse in healthcare will have numerous hurdles in Africa. One of the many drawbacks that plague our medical industry is the sheer population and the limited medical facilities.
Implementing VR in the medical industry will require some level of training not just for the doctors but also for patients. In addition, despite the rapid growth rate of web3 applications within the continent, only a select few African countries are actively participating in implementing Blockchain. This means that his new technology in the medical industry will only partially benefit some of the African ecosystems.
Also, Read Blockchain technology and its frontier in 2022.
Digitalization of the healthcare industry has steadily increased, but its slow pace has effectively shadowed any significant improvements. Thus, to pioneer the use of Metaverse in healthcare, it would need the incorporation of governments which is an entirely different milestone to overcome. In the end, the functional capabilities of VR in the medical industry are astounding. The sheer scale of its application will need some significant work.
Despite this, we may see this shift sooner than we think as Web3 applications steadily take over in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.