Facebook has recently announced its evolution and rebranding into Meta. As per Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, “Meta” is an amalgamation of the company’s broader vision to help people connect while using advanced and cutting-edge technology.


According to the press release from Facebook, “the Metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together — and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world.”


Facebook’s Metaverse is expected to usher in a new chapter for the company as it continues to invest in new ways of communication. This time around, the focus is on augmented and virtual reality spaces.


While there is no doubt that Facebook’s entry into virtual reality is likely to transform social interactions, it is also expected that Facebook’s Metaverse could revolutionise healthcare.


The concept of Metaverse, as outlined by Facebook, is that it will be a digital space that will allow people to do things they couldn’t do in the physical world. The way this is expected to be achieved is by giving users a feeling that they are there with another person, even if they really aren’t. Now in healthcare, this concept could be applied in several different areas ranging from telehealth and virtual care to remote patient care and patient monitoring. We’ve all seen the application of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the integration of virtual reality could potentially pave the way for a 2D or 3D virtual care experience for patients.


A major shortcoming of telemedicine that is often highlighted is the lack of physical presence. Could the application of Facebook’s Metaverse eliminate this limitation? Could it enable healthcare to mimic physical presence while providing virtual care?


Another application of virtual reality could be in the field of remote monitoring of patients. If the concept of Facebook’s Metaverse could be applied in healthcare, it may be possible to use advanced patient monitoring strategies and augmented tracking of physical health, all done virtually.


The possibilities are endless. However, it is important to approach this with caution. Healthcare could certainly be augmented with this technology, but it should be done in a safe and secure manner, and it must always keep the patient as the primary focus and the centre of attention.


Source: Facebook, Forbes

Image Credit: iStock


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