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The World Economic Forum describes the metaverse as a network of always-virtual environments in which many people can interact with one another and digital objects while assuming virtual representations (avatars)of themselves. It is a convergence of the physical and virtual world that is made possible with the help of augmented reality, Internet of Things, block chain, artificial intelligence and spatial technology.
Across industries, companies are utilising the metaverse to reach untapped markets, enrich consumer experience and increase platforms for creativity. For example, Nike launched NikeLand in online game Roblox, where players can create games, make friends and purchase virtual-only Nike apparel. Disney is also developing a metaverse theme park to allow for storytelling without boundaries.
The metaverse has great potential in revolutionising healthcare too – the HealthBlocks project, for example, with its capability for remote monitoring, rewards users for changing their daily habits in order to live healthier lifestyles. “Healthcare providers can also explore alternative virtual work spaces, enjoy access to medical professionals from anywhere and anytime, create immersive experiences for both patients and staff, and much more. The metaverse can also make a difference in educating patients about healthcare and nudge them towards better health,” said Benedict Tan, Group Chief Digital Strategy Officer, SingHealth, “With the right use of data and technologies, healthcare providers, such as SingHealth, are poised to be able to improve patient experience, increase quality of care and personalise healthcare delivery.”
The metaverse is still in the early stages of development, and there are still many challenges to overcome, such as inclusivity, governance, data privacy and security. While a full-fledged metaverse is still in the pipeline, we can expect to adopt more metaverse-like technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality in our daily lives and work.
How do you think the metaverse will benefit our patients, and the way in which we deliver care to them? What are you most looking forward to in the metaverse? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!