Facebook’s Evolution into “Meta” Has Incredible Potential to Revolutionize Healthcare

Facebook has undoubtedly become a defining phenomenon for the generation. For billions of people around the world, it has redefined traditional notions of communication, connectivity, information gathering, e-commerce and social interaction. Although the business started out as a simple social media network, it has evolved into something more: a cultural icon that represents the way people interact with each other, keep track of milestones in a local community. or national, and maybe even find and connect with others who have common interests.

Facebook’s boldest move to date is its recent evolution and rebranding to “Meta,” which CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially announced earlier this week. Meta is an amalgamation of the company’s larger vision to help connect people alongside cutting-edge new technologies that will redefine social interaction. As the press release explains, “The metaverse will look like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes extended in three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will allow you to share immersive experiences with other people, even when you can’t be together, and to do things together that you couldn’t do in the physical world. It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it ushers in a new chapter for our business.

Indeed, the announcement of this development was long overdue; Over the past few years, the company has invested a lot of time and money to embrace new ways of communicating, especially in augmented and virtual reality spaces. Meta is the culmination of these efforts, but it is also a starting point for many other innovations to come.

While there has been a lot of talk about how this technology will transform social interactions, games, and learning, there is another massive industry that the Metaverse could possibly revolutionize: healthcare.

Broadly speaking, the company defines the metaverse as “a set of interconnected digital spaces that allow you to do things that you cannot do in the physical world. Most of all, it will be characterized by social presence, the feeling that you are there with another person, no matter where you are in the world. It bodes well for a strong sentiment for health care. The metaverse opens up all types of potential new applications in telehealth, virtual care, remote patient care and monitoring, data-driven care, and more. Especially if it can elevate virtual healthcare from a 2D experience to a 3D experience, it can become a generation-defining revolution in medicine.

Other innovation giants are already venturing into similar territory. Earlier this year, I wrote about how Microsoft’s Mesh Platform is trying to embrace mixed reality, and how it can congruently disrupt healthcare. Industry mainstays are investing billions of dollars to decipher how augmented and virtual reality can enable better and more personalized drug delivery, and perhaps even mimic “physical presence,” one of the main limitations of modalities. telehealth currently.

But the potential of Metaverse goes even further. Perhaps the connectivity offered by Metaverse is not something that someone Is, but it is rather something that we lives inside. If the metaverse, as proposed, becomes a new way of interacting with friends, a new place to work for doing business, and a place to eventually receive health care, perhaps it will become a new reality, a place where people spend most of their time.

Facebook has already worked on Smart Glasses and its popular virtual reality platform Oculus, which may soon become as integral to a person’s body as a cell phone or smartwatch. Just 20 years ago, no one would have imagined that he would wear a phone or a watch on his body almost 24 hours a day to count calories or detect heart rhythms. And yet, today, it has become a common facet of life. Likewise, while these connectivity devices are indeed becoming part of the everyday human experience, they have significant potential applications in healthcare. Some very basic examples include: remote monitoring of patients who require intensive care; better data and information on clinical outcomes (eg monitoring blood glucose, monitoring heart rate, etc.); increased monitoring of physical health, virtually; and much more advanced applications which are beyond the realm of the present day imagination.

Of course, this opens up a whole host of questions and concerns regarding privacy, safety, and patient safety. While the technology is promising and can dramatically change the way medicine is practiced, how will the metaverse ultimately protect one of the most important aspects of healthcare: patient privacy and safety. ? Indeed, with so much connectivity, significant vulnerabilities can also emerge, raising the question of what steps will be taken to ensure an appropriate ethical cadence.

Finally, just because it can be done, the question remains: should it? Should there be such a push to move healthcare so meaningfully into the digital and virtual spheres? Perhaps there are some incredible benefits to be had from it. But, if not done correctly, it can also pose a threat to the personalized nature of the patient-physician relationship. Indeed, in the midst of a push to adopt new innovations and technologies, society cannot afford to lose the humanistic touch of healthcare.

Facebook’s management (now Metaverse’s) have a monumental task ahead of them to navigate and decipher this exciting and daring new territory. Indeed, the applications of this technology are endless, especially in medicine and health care delivery. Time will indeed tell if and how the company will be able to leverage this technology to improve healthcare in a safe, secure and patient-centered way.

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