The future of healthcare? We take a close look at the Metaverse, and ask how companies can prepare themselves to succeed with this developing opportunity.
News headlines over the last few months have regularly featured articles about the so-called ‘metaverse’, often declaring its all-but-inevitable rise and supremacy over all other media and platforms.
This drumbeat of awareness is certainly raising the profile of the metaverse, and many companies are now scrambling to work out how they will be able to use and benefit from this new construct on the block in the future.
Even Tatler, a fashion and lifestyle magazine (and not one commonly linked with news about cutting-edge technological advances), has been getting in on the action, recently posting an article about social climbing in the digital age!
But is this simplistic assumption of the future inevitable metaverse domination realistic? If so (or even if not) what impact might the metaverse have on healthcare? As a forward-thinking digital healthcare marketing company, we thought we’d investigate!
Trying to define the metaverse is a bit like trying to define the Internet in its early days, long before it became the well-known behemoth it is today.
While the building blocks of an entirely new form of communication were certainly clear back in its very earliest days, it was impossible at the time to know for certain what the reality would turn out to be.
The same is true of the metaverse in its current guise. Championed by companies like Facebook (who are ploughing billions of dollars into it), the metaverse is described as virtual reality on steroids, combining virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) technology in order to create an immersive and all-encompassing virtual world. Think of it as the Internet reimagined as a 3D experience that people can be immersed in and be a part of.
While today many people may think of the metaverse as ‘just’ being an Oculus VR headset or similar device, this is looking only at the physical components that provide the entrance into the metaverse – the virtual world - itself.
As with every new technology, it will of course take time for the metaverse to develop into an accepted, useful resource. Despite the hype, the billions of dollars being poured into its development, and the excitement generated by regular announcements and press releases, it is only time that will tell whether the metaverse does indeed become the next ‘big thing’, used by both businesses and individuals. This depends on the metaverse gaining widespread acceptance and engagement, which might not be as certain as its noisiest advocates presume.
As evidenced by how adroitly the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries adapted and responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerating vaccine development at a pace previously unheard of (and one believed by many to be unobtainable), new, and disruptive technologies continue to be the lifeblood of many developments in healthcare.
Indeed, even today both VR and AR are being increasingly used in medical education and training, processes, and procedures, providing realistic 3600 imaging of the inside of the human body for exploration and study.
AR provides medical staff new, faster ways of accessing up-to-date information (for example, combining data from multiple imaging sources during a surgical procedure). It can also be used post-surgery to optimize rehabilitation and recovery protocols using relevant data analyzed in real-time.
It is not hard to see how the metaverse could soon be used to deliver medical students with immersive experiences, recreated from actual surgeries performed by world class surgeons. Such a development would provide the students with an extraordinary quality of education, one previously unobtainable to all but a select few. The metaverse could easily break down the geographical constraints that previously limited the quality and type of medical education available to an individual.
Similarly, the metaverse could become the definitive training ground for the next generation of surgeons and surgical robots, with AI being used to carry out surgical procedures ever more precisely.
Gamification could become a way of engaging people with health-based metrics within the metaverse. Online prompts at appropriate points to book an eye test, to request a repeat prescription, or to schedule an appointment with a doctor, could all be given prominence within the virtual world.
As the technology develops, data processing will enable ever more precise segmentation, enabling the very smartest marketers to lower their cost of customer acquisition while offering tailormade solutions to them at exactly the right time. (Possibly with less competition, depending on how aggressive and successful other companies are in the metaverse.)
As Ries and Trout pointed out in their seminal work ‘Positioning’, it pays to be the first in a market. For this reason, companies who are first into the metaverse, and successfully and obviously first, will be in a very strong position indeed to determine and direct the future of their market.
Even in these early stages of the metaverse development, it is easy to see that there is a significant potential for the metaverse to become a significant part of future life. Whether that potential is translated into reality is yet to be seen.
At MedGen, our dedicated MedTech team keep their finger on the pulse of advancing technologies, helping our clients to embrace and use the appropriate solutions to deliver optimal results.
As a company, we are extremely well placed for whatever the metaverse develops into, already heavily invested in processing and analyzing historical and real-time data. We combine this data with our industry-leading proprietary machine learning and tracking technology to ensure ongoing optimization of every marketing campaign we run.
Part of the Creative Clicks Group we provide our clients with global coverage, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Currently, this is very much in the real, physical world, but who knows? In years to come, we may be providing a real-time presence in the metaverse for our clients! (This is at least a few years off, but we’re keeping a close watch on how things develop to ensure we continue to be the leaders in our industry.)
While we wait for the metaverse to develop into something more useable and profitable, we can help you reach your marketing and sales objectives today.
We can provide you with:
As you would expect, all our solutions are GDPR/HIPAA compliant.
With vast experience in the MedTech vertical, it’s no wonder many smart MedTech companies have already chosen to partner with us for their commercial success. Contact us to discuss the ways we can help you prepare for your future success today.