Real medicine in the digital world was one of the main topics of the First Congress on Health in the Metaverse, organized by Metaverso Hospital. The new virtual reality applied to health has already opened up many unknowns, but also opened up numerous possibilities for the present and the future. It is indicated on the day Leyre Martin, Responsible for the medical management of Metaverso Hospital; Sarah Martinez, CEOand Jose Martinez Olmos, Head of institutional relations. Undoubtedly, the metaverse, blockchaincrypto assets, NFTs… open up a world of possibilities and opportunities in the healthcare environment.
The organizers commented that the metaverse opens up the possibilities of virtual healthcare with interaction that can enable the use of scientific evidence and artificial intelligence in a special way in the care process. This world connected to immersive experiences also allows for much more “real” interaction with other professionals and hospital services other than the patient and care team.
health in the metaverse
Participated in the meeting Carmen Vicente, director of the Hospital San Juan de Dios in Zaragoza and member of the board of directors of SEDISA. And that is that this Health Center, during the pandemic, launched what is considered the first foray into the hospital metaverse in Spain. In his opinion, the key is in coexistence. Co-exist in Healthcare, because it is important not to lose contact with the healthcare staff, with this virtual world, which will undoubtedly bring the hospital and its specialists closer to the homes of patients and relatives.
Francisco Jose Garciadirector of the master’s degree in innovation in digital health at UCM, i arming the Romansdirector at IAVANTE, were in charge of training health workers in the metaverse.
In addition to simulators and immersive training, the possibilities offered by artificial intelligence to achieve more efficient training systems are also on the table. “We are moving towards precision training, just as Precision Medicine already exists,” commented Armando Romanos.
In addition, the field that opens up the metaverse in the socialization of learning and the gap in knowledge is covered. And, in this sense, the importance of creating socialization environments was highlighted. In them, students can horizontally share knowledge and needs with their peers along with vertical teaching. Ultimately, a training monitoring.
And what about bioresearch?
Cesar Hernandez, Director General of the Basic Portfolio and Pharmacy of the Ministry of Health, pointed out, in relation to the area of drug regulation, the opportunities that are open to regulatory agencies for the exchange of information. And pointed out the impact that the metaverse and blockchain could influence the utility of medicines throughout their life cycle, measuring their utility in real life to make decisions about clinical use and tailor health interventions.
In this sense, it was highlighted what this could mean for Spain, which is the world leader in clinical trials. And César Hernández and the other speaker, Sara Martínez, manager of IA Hospitals in Savannah, he highlighted the possibilities offered by the decentralization of such clinical trials. Among other advantages, they highlighted the recruitment of patients worldwide and the analysis of data in record time. Not forgetting what this new technology would facilitate, on the regulatory part, to which many resources are dedicated. With digital identities by ethics commissions, use smart contract… which would simplify practice in research studies. “Everything will enable faster transfer of research and knowledge.”
Health managers in the metaverse
When talking about health managers in the metaverse, Martínez Olmos gave way Jaime del Barrio, president of the Digital Health Association (ASD) and Candle Street, member of the Board of Directors of Sedis and general director of the San Francisco de Asís Foundation.
“Virtual but real,” commented Jaime del Barrio. “The only thing that changes is the way we treat each other, the way we move.” The metaverse is a conjunction and a vital space that we enter with real situations looking for solutions that are also real. One of the advantages is that it allows foresight, proactivity and promotes prevention. “This is not poaching, but we have a change of epoch in relation to the approach to medicine,” he added.
For her part, Candela Calle reminded that it is currently necessary to “ensure the sustainability of the system. And this must be done from all points of view, including economic, ecological, but also social”. In his opinion, the pandemic has put three key management goals on the table. These are: improving the patient experience, optimizing clinical outcomes and reducing costs.
“I am a big advocate of network models, something I have successfully tested in the field of oncology. This system also makes it possible to establish a much closer relationship between regional and tertiary hospitals,” said Candela Calle. “Also, the metaverse environment can respond to a portfolio of services in a much easier and more comfortable way for different profiles of professionals.”
Candela Calle included experts, but also patients, among the “engines of change” of the system. “If I wanted to incorporate something from the metaverse into my institution, I would try to listen to patients and experts,” he commented.
Humanization in the digital environment
It is precisely the voice of patients that is represented Patricia Ripoll in the table entitled ‘Is it possible to humanize health care in the metaverse? They also intervened Joan Carlos March, co-director of the Patient School of the Andalusian School of Public Health and Julio Zarco, president of the Humans Foundation.
The report predicted that the global health and healthcare industry-focused metaverse market was valued at five billion dollars in 2021. This amount will exceed 71 billion in 2030. “there will be several metaversal projects that will have a real application”, said Patricia Ripoll.
Another survey published by the Spanish Patient Forum showed that more than 90% of patients believe that digital solutions improve the care offered in hospitals. In any case, patients demand more “fluent” communication and a more “humanistic” approach from healthcare workers.