MedPiper Technologies and JournoMed conducted a Webinar Series on “Digital Transformation in Healthcare” in association with IRIA Kerala, Hospex, Indian Junior Doctors Network, ISA Thrissur City Branch, IMA Thrissur and Instaclinik. The first-day webinar discussed the role of the Metaverse in Healthcare. The event was held on 22nd August 2022.
Mr Sunil David, Advisor to IoT and AI Startups |Ex-Regional Director (IoT)- AT&T, Co-Chair of Digital Comm. spoke about the Role of Metaverse Impact on Digital Healthcare. Metaverse in Healthcare- The evolution of New Era.
An overview of Metaverse and its characteristics
Metaverse is an alternate world where Meta means “alternate” and verse means “reality”. It can be an unlimited universe, completely immersive and possess a 3D internet. Today internet is 2D whereas Metaverse is considered a 3-dimensional internet which involves global participation. Through Metaverse, one can embed and link the immersive content. Metaverse can serve as a platform to share stories and a place/ venue for many activities. One can even play games with friends and can use different equipment to get into the metaverse. Through the metaverse, one can also build their digital avatar and can have that avatar collaborate with the metaverse. It is the place to collaborate, learn and train. It helps in social interaction and creative expression.
Characteristics of the Metaverse
Boundless: There are no barriers between the real world and the digital world, the whole convergence between the metaverse and digital world differs, and the metaverse is endless
Persistent: The metaverse is always active and can’t be reset or unplugged
Immersive: Users can achieve a realistic sensory experience with extended reality (XR) tools
Decentralized: No single entity has control over the metaverse. All users have individual agencies
Economic system: Digital currencies help powerfully functioning virtual economic systems
Social experiences: The metaverse creates strong social links with other users and AI virtual beings, creating events meant to be shared. This has been trigged during the covid pandemic. Facebook has rebranded itself as Facebook Meta. Facebook has betting big on Metaverse.
The seven different layers of Metaverse
Experiences: Today we have several gaming platforms like robo blocks and unity. Even in India, we observe many of them get addicted to games on PC mobiles and tablets. The experiences of gaming and the metaverse are entirely different. In shopping, Flipkart has introduced an augmented reality app where instead of visualizing the brands online, an augmented reality app brings the products to live which guides the customer to purchase.
Collaboration: Microsoft has built a platform called “Microsoft Teams” which is meant for the collaboration of organizations. They have enhanced the platform called “Mesh”, where one can build a digital avatar or digital persona. Again, that was initialized during a covid pandemic. Digital avatars can be on a mesh platform interacting with others.
Real estate: The buying process changed because of the realistic augmentation procedure. It is all about experiences
- Real-time presence: Instead of focusing on what people like, this is about what people discover and what friends are doing right now. E.g., Clubhouse is available on android and IOS Apple. Blizzard Battle net is the company aced by Microsoft, but the stakes are high. It is the leading gaming space as far as the metaverse is concerned
- The community-driven content: Metaverse also gives monetization opportunities for creators. In the metaverse, the content is not just user-generated. Customers are not only just content creators, but they are also content amplifiers and as well as customers. Content isn’t simply generated by people: it emerges from their interactions and feeds into the substance of the conversations within their communities. People who make good content today can even monetize the metaverse.
- Spatial computing: Data integration from devices (Internet of Things/ Internet of Everything) and biometrics from the identification process as well as quantified self-applications in health/fitness. Next-generation user interfaces are used to support concurrent information, streams and analysis, Mapping and interpreting of the inside and the outside world i.e., Geospatial mapping can also be performed. 3D engines are utilized to display geometrical animation (unity, unreal).
- Decentralized platform: The platform used here is permissionless, the stakeholder on this is completely distributed. It is open and has no central authority to control.
- The evolution of the Web: The evolution of the web gains a lot more opportunities to advertise a lot of content. Different technologies are utilized for web 3.0 vs metaverse. Technologies play a crucial role in the metaverse.
Blockchain feeds: The platform blockchain feeds can run the metaverse. In this, all the transactions are stored in the blocks. “#” is the mathematical code which is assigned to a particular block. All the data is stored in the blocks and is connected through blockchains. It is completely distributed, unlike earlier architecture. Web 2.0 is completely centralized. The transaction costs used to be much lower. Once the data is secured on the blockchain, it can’t tamper with. Health records can be put on blockchains that include electronic healthcare records.
Mobile interfaces: Mobiles can be used as an interface to get into the metaverse. Because they possess high-speed bandwidth and low latency. The PC also serves as an access point to the metaverse. Today, we utilize the advanced technology of metaverse i.e. brain mapping.
Infrastructure: When immersive applications are run, we gain a good experience. A strong infrastructure must be needed for the host. A powerful computing system and specialized cloud platforms are introduced where all the computing systems would be managed.
5G Characteristics: The metaverse can be accessed from the 5 G-enabled mobiles. 5G technology usage experience is entirely different.
- Ultra-low latency: < 10 ms round trip time latency expected
- Ultra-reliability: The ultra-reliability supports mission-critical latency-sensitive apps
- Massive loT connectivity: The massive loT connectivity supports billions of connected devices
- Ultra-high speeds: Faster speeds possible with mm-wave and sub-6
Metaverse impact on industries
Metaverse has a major impact on several industries.
- Automotive industry
- Design Collaboration
- Simulating autonomous vehicles
- Virtual showrooms
- Engagement with customers
Attributes of a Digital Twin: A digital twin is a virtual representation of a physical asset. One can have a virtual representation of an aircraft engine or a virtual representation of a machine in a factory. It can be of any system.
Indian Brands of Metaverse
Tanishq: Launched its bridal collection “Rivaah” in metaverse: Participants could try out pieces in “ Rivaahverse” using QR codes.
Mahindra Group: Mahindra’s dealer verse, being built by TechM, will allow the buyers to visit a virtual dealer, and engage with sales staff, and even one can buy the car in the metaverse.
ITC: ITC launched their luxurious chocolate brand named “ Fabelle”. They also created a chocolate cart at the metaverse wedding on Tardiverse. Chocolates were being delivered to guests physically.
Coco Cola India: Coco Cola India was a beverage partner at the wedding on Yug. ITC also promoted its brand here.
TATA consumer products: TATA consumer products hosted a Holi party on Yug metaverse in March
Ceat: Ceat is creating a virtual tyre shop and integrating it with its e-commerce platform. Customers will be able to get tyres delivered at home or pick it up from a ceat shop.
The box at the NFT records things as the original creator and the current owner. So, every time NFT is transferred to a new owner gets added as a new block. There is a permanent record of the new owners over time. Our work is the early manifestation of NFTs, but there are still a lot of benefits and applications in healthcare.
Benefits of NFT Health Records
- It is secure from hackers: NFT-based technology/ NFT Health records are super safe and can be secured from hackers and can’t be subjected to unauthorized tampering.
- Safer Healthcare: All patients are subjected to safer healthcare with proper care and medication. An NFT medical record can access the patient’s medical information globally. The information stored in the medical records is always up to date.
- Continuity of care: Continuity of care is mandatory in any hospital but when there is no proper follow-up and new diagnosis, there is a lack of continuity of care and NFT health records would bring a close loop between all the different health providers and improve the continuity of care.
- Restores ownership of the data to the patient: An NFT health record restores ownership to the patient and the data lost can be brought back to the patient. Also, the data from different places can be gathered and stored.
- Public health and research: Accessing the healthcare records of the covid patients across the world is quite difficult considering the records are obtained from different states and by different government entities. With NFT health records, one can request millions of patients easily and transfer the data securely.
Types of digital health technologies
- Wearable devices
- Electronic health records
- Mobile health apps
- Personalized medicine
- Electronic medical records (EMR)
The pace at which the development occurs is faster. There is a drastic change in the healthcare patients, which is observed in the technology induced today. There is a radical change from a healthcare point of view. One can build the digital twin of the heart. Today they constantly monitor the complete performance follow-up and feed all the data into an AI system. One can build a model of the heart. The whole objective is to monitor the health of the heart in real-time the whole objective is to come out with positive business outreach. That is where the metaverse comes in. It performs proper diagnosis, and it creates an impact on the well-being of a person.
Key Applications of Metaverse in Healthcare Segment
- Mental Health
- Medical Education training
- Pain Management
- Plastic surgeries
- Fitness and Wellness
How Surgeons implement metaverse in Medicine
A famous example upon the usage of Metaverse by a lead surgeon in White Chapel, East London, who operates using Metaverse technology. An assistant surgeon elsewhere in London and Mumbai is at the scene of the operation in a virtual world. They can converse in real-time with colleagues, who appear as blue human-shaped avatars in an operating theatre. The operation was performed successfully with the close monitoring of multiple physicians and the decisions can be made on the course of action.
Metaverse induced hospitals
Yashoda Hospitals is the first healthcare group in India to be on the Metaverse platform. Yashoda Hospitals has implemented its most popular metaverse platform to commemorate its 30 years of healthcare services to the people.
Apollo Hospitals Group entered the metaverse using 8 chili Hint virtual reality. Apollo Hospitals Group has announced a unique collaboration with “8 chili Inc” to enable engagement in the members, in the first of its kind initiative. Virtual reality will provide an immersive experience that has been proven to increase patient engagement and hands-on training for hands-on training. It also promotes better patient satisfaction.
- Balance and Modernization: Metaverse usage needs to be balanced with the modernization of technology.
- Democratization of the Metaverse: It requires a lot of time and effort to be established perfectly and reach the masses, but with the recent advancements in technology, it’s no longer a far-off dream.
- Employment generation and Entrepreneurship opportunities: With so many technologies like Blockchain, AI, VR, Cloud, 5G etc empowering the metaverse it is bound to open up a wide range of entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.
- Metaverse serves as a cause for the industry to evolve quickly as the cost of technology comes down.