If you are curious about the latest news and hype about the “metaverse,” then check out this primer on what healthcare organizations need to know about it, now! Let’s start with the basics. Exactly what is the metaverse? A recent Forbes article1 described the metaverse as the next phase of what is considered “the internet”. The metaverse is accessed through mainstream digital channels, such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and through increasing connectivity like 5G networks, that create online environments that are immersive, experiential, and interactive. Today, most content and discussion around the metaverse refers to gaming, socializing, entertainment, and commerce; however, the impact on other industries will be substantial.
What does this mean for healthcare providers?
While the metaverse is evolving, the potential opportunity in healthcare builds upon technologies noted above and others such as the Internet of Medical Things, Web 3.0, and quantum computing along with robotics. There are current and significant technology trends that have the ability to transform the healthcare experience, such as allowing patients to meet their provider virtually, the use of digital twins, and cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin.
Being able to interact with others in this environment can take virtual visits to a whole other level. It may be difficult but imagine meeting your patient in a virtual space where you can interact with them in a realistic way about their health and wellness, counseling, and medical treatment and surgical procedures. With the metaverse, you can access their medical, insurance, and payment information in one place. This avatar captures a patient’s unique information and represents them by showing you their diagnoses and conditions.
The metaverse has the potential to make revenue cycle management for healthcare even more efficient because it allows patients to connect with providers and leave preferred payment information all in one place, under one avatar. You may be wondering how your organization can utilize tools like avatars. This process improvement will necessitate innovative business models for practices and large-scale organizations looking to incorporate the metaverse into their current operations.