According to Forbes, the global metaverse market size was $38.85 billion in 2021, and the demand for Metaverse platforms is expected to increase to $50 billion by the end of 2026. The metaverse will significantly impact all spheres of our lives, including that of health services. Owing to the metaverse, new channels of health services will be created to reduce costs and increase the quality of care. The metaverse healthtech market was estimated at USD 2.3 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach around USD 19.6 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 26.88% from 2022 to 2030.
Admittedly, these financings represent only 1% of the total investments in digital health in the US, but this remains a significant advance. Moreover, this market is substantial since it was estimated at more than $ 2 billion in 2020. Also, to further encourage companies in this field, the Food And Drugs Administration (FDA) created the “Medical Extended Reality” to facilitate scientific and regulatory research, allowing patients access to innovative, safe, and effective VR/AR medical devices.
Strong enthusiasm for Metaverse in Health-tech
Economically, 95% of health establishments can provide remote care, compared to 43% before 2020. This development is part of the development of health-tech in the metaverse.
The metaverse development company could be a significant asset in brand-new processes for the health-tech pathway. The virtualized medical world is already fully present in the health-tech field and will be even more effective shortly.
Prospects in the Health-tech sector
The metaverse opens up new possibilities in the health-tech field, which is reflected in the improvement of the health-tech pathway because the usefulness of the metaverse will limit physical interactions in favour of a virtual world. However, it should be remembered that the metaverse is a source of opportunities that can open the way to new possibilities for improving the health-tech pathway.
Many cases of patients have already proven this, such as care and prevention, which have become more effective through the improvement of teleconsultation and telemonitoring of patients. These are the few vital points that the world of metaverse brings to the health-tech field. This virtual universe will ensure a good relationship between patients and healthcare professionals.
The Metaverse at the service of health training
The metaverse will also provide a new training method for the medical staff of tomorrow. Augmented and virtual reality will allow students to explore the human body in every corner by complementing traditional methods. All this with a hologram for training and learning effectively accompanying the course books. Imagine the possibilities offered by a virtual world where universities will be built in the metaverse.
Health-tech companies are currently developing applications related to virtual reality to begin their clinical training. An education, through immersive simulations, allows for group learning and obtains good results. The metaverse makes it possible to train through the immersive virtual universe. This new mode will be accessible even to students who cannot afford to access resources in health institutions that are not accessible to everyone.
Upswing of the Health-tech pathway
More and more healthcare professionals are using virtual reality tools for different types of treatment, such as psychoses, neuroses, or post-traumatic problems. New ways of healing will therefore see the light of day owing to the metaverse. For instance, a study by the University of Oxford revealed a 38% decrease in patients suffering from the above disorders having undergone treatment with virtual reality.
Many health-tech entities are already using it and positioning themselves on this method to improve their approach via the virtual reality of the metaverse. And clinical studies have revealed a marked decrease in postoperative duration and a drop in morphine-based substances. The multiverse also makes it easy to benefit from a meditation or relaxation session to calm down and de-stress by immersing yourself in a soothing world created solely for this purpose.
The evolution of this sector is evident, and innovations will constantly improve the blocking points to facilitate the user experience for patients and healthcare professionals.
The Patient Journey
Owing to the metaverse, the patient journey will be completely reinvented. Indeed, we are already witnessing its transformation with the help of telemedicine. But in this new dematerialized universe, the patient could have unique interactions with health professionals in a virtual clinic where his teleconsultation experience will be better. If we take the instance of mental health; the metaverse technology can treat different disorders, such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and phobias. Moreover, in this virtual/augmented reality space, the patient will access enhanced and natural therapies with the healthcare professional of their choice anywhere in the world.
On the other hand, the patient will have significant sovereignty over their health data owing to NFTs. This new form of the digital property will give patients the power to decide with whom and how they will share their data.
Regarding surgical practices, today, surgeons already use AR and VR technologies to assist them during the act and thus improve patient results. With the metaverse, we can imagine a virtual operating room where surgeons will meet to collaborate in surgery with the help of other experts.
Other innovations will be developed in this new immersive surgical domain, such as “digital twins” or “wearable” medical devices that will allow healthcare professionals to access more detailed data to diagnose, treat and make better-informed decisions.
Undoubtedly, companies that want to enter this field will face far-reaching challenges. The first is to demonstrate the clinical and medico-economic effectiveness of new AR/VR technologies in treating, monitoring, or preventing patients. This goes through clinical trials to ensure their safety and performance.
Another challenge this time concerns the cost of developing and purchasing the devices used. Indeed, to benefit from and access this new universe, the patient must be equipped with high-tech equipment such as VR/AR glasses, sensors, etc. Unfortunately, these devices are still expensive, which will limit the number of users.
A final aspect to be addressed in the metaverse and in the health ecosystem, in general, is interoperability. Overcoming this challenge will allow the metaverse to be adopted more quickly and widely by all concerned health-tech users.
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