RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • The Accenture Digital Health Technology Vision surveyed 391 healthcare executives across 10 countries to learn from their perspectives.
  • In addition, a global survey of 24,000 people captured insights into their use of, interactions with and beliefs about technology in their lives.
  • The "Metaverse Continuum" is a spectrum of digitally enhanced worlds, realities and business models poised to revolutionize life and enterprise.
  • The four trends in the Accenture Digital Health Technology Vision show how technology innovations are shaping healthcare experiences of the future.
  • Every healthcare leader must ask: What will be my organization’s role in this new continuum?


We are on the threshold of a new decade of digital transformation, and at a defining moment for all leaders. Welcome to the "Metaverse Continuum"—a spectrum of digitally enhanced worlds, realities and business models poised to revolutionize life and enterprise in the next decade—and the impact on healthcare begins today.

While there are many components, we see the metaverse as having two primary functions: Creating the "Internet of Place" and the "Internet of Ownership." Soon, new spaces in the metaverse will transport us to almost any type of world we can imagine, letting us interact with clinicians, peers and enterprises at a distance. And healthcare organizations will shift part of their operations to the metaverse, maintaining their own internal virtual environments so employees can work from anywhere and collaborate in new ways. This way of life seems futuristic, but it’s already on its way here.1

Only with a high-performing digital core could healthcare enterprises be prepared to participate in, or even build, the next evolution of the internet—creating greater access, better experiences and improved outcomes while keeping people at the heart of it.

Ninety-seven percent of healthcare executives believe continuous advances in technology are becoming more reliable than economic, political or social trends in informing their organization’s long-term strategy.

Completing the picture

This year’s Accenture Digital Health Technology Vision explores four trends that reveal how new technology innovations are reshaping healthcare experiences of the future.

WebMe illustrates how the internet is being reimagined with the metaverse as an experience layer and Web3 as a new distributed data layer.

The Programmable World tracks how technology is being threaded through our physical environments in three layers: Connected, experiential and material.

The Unreal explores the "unreal" qualities that are becoming intrinsic to artificial intelligence, and even data, making the synthetic seem passably authentic.

Computing the Impossible outlines the outer limit of what is computationally possible as a new class of computing machines emerge with a new curve of compute capability to tackle grand challenges.

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Brian Kalis

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy Lead, Health


Jenica McHugh

Managing Director – Technology Strategy, Global


Kaveh Safavi

Senior Managing Director – Consulting, Global Health


Andrew Truscott

Managing Director – Health, Technology Lead, Global

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Accenture Digital Health Technology Vision 2021
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Frequently asked questions

The metaverse is a continuum, a spectrum of digitally enhanced worlds, realities and business models that have the power to transform healthcare. Instead of the internet as a disparate collection of sites and apps, the metaverse is a 3D environment that offers a new dimension of interactivity.

The metaverse offers an evolving set of possibilities for how we live our life and experience healthcare. It will transport people to nearly any type of world we can imagine, letting us interact with clinicians, peers and enterprises at a distance. Healthcare organizations will shift part of their operations to the metaverse, maintaining their own internal virtual environments so employees can work from anywhere and collaborate in new ways based on data that can be authenticated.

The metaverse is evolving fast in healthcare and across industries. In the next decade, it will revolutionize nearly all aspects of life and business, allowing collaboration in virtual spaces, augmented physical places and a blend of both. And it will create new lines of business and transform interactions between people and organizations.

In the metaverse, organizations can transform how they interact with their customers, and how work itself gets done through immersive collaborative experiences. Healthcare organizations will be able to transcend time and space to simulate interactions, shorten learning cycles and practice procedures, such as in surgical training. The metaverse will enable more life-like virtual therapeutics and will empower patients to manage their health and perform self-care. It also offers opportunities to help healthcare employees build empathy around the human experience.

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