The internet is being reimagined, and healthcare enterprises need to be ready for what comes next. Metaverse and Web3 innovations are transforming the underpinning and operation of the virtual world. Instead of the internet as a disparate collection of sites and apps, the metaverse is a 3D environment in which moving from work to a social platform can be as seamless as walking from one’s car right into the doctor’s office.
Internet of place – A new experience layer
Although the metaverse offers an exciting new world to explore, it’s not just a place for gaming or entertainment. More than 80% of healthcare leaders see the metaverse having a positive impact on the future. In the metaverse, we can transcend time and space to simulate interactions, shorten learning cycles and practice procedures, such as in surgical training. We can create distinct experiences for patients that replicate the physical world but remove its constraints. We can help healthcare employees build empathy around the human experience of people aging or of people with historically underserved needs by virtually living in other people’s shoes.2
Internet of ownership – A new distributed data layer
Underpinning this new experience layer is a new distributed data layer. Web3 provides additional texture to this new world by introducing a data framework that generates provenance, veracity and value. By creating a new distributed layer to the internet, individual users have a more intelligent and connected web experience where they can share digital assets, and trade or sell their data based on clear ownership rights and authenticity. The underlying data framework is what supports a range of capabilities from “owning” a pair of digital shoes to authenticating identity and more, while remaining secure.
Building a responsible metaverse
Interestingly, while the metaverse can re-represent the existing world, we are still the same people living in it. Those who cannot see, cannot see. Those who cannot hear, cannot hear. Those who do not have digital health access today may experience a widening gap. The exciting part of this new realm is that we can set up new guardrails that are impossible in the physical world. Bottom line: The metaverse needs to be accessible for all kinds of people, regardless of their sensing capabilities, access to technology and beyond.