August. January 12, 2022 – In what some call the next iteration of the internet, the metaverse is an alien digital world where you can become a virtual avatar, navigate computer-generated places and interact with others in real time . In this space, the constraints of our physical, physical world and travel habits disappear. New opportunities and challenges have emerged.
At the UConn School of Health in Farmington, doctors in training get their first taste of what it would be like to live in such a futuristic place as residents first Once you get a virtual reality headset.
Olga Solovyova, MD, assistant professor of plastic surgery at UConn Health, says orthopedic surgery is largely on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic at historic moment .
Now, residents don goggles and see their avatars (their own digital representation) in a virtual operating room. Tables, instruments and virtual patients. They operated the instruments with the controls, felt resistance when they saw or drilled into the bone, and felt a drop in pressure when fully incising.
In VR, they can also peel away virtual layers of skin and muscles to get a better view of the bones below. The training module provides feedback on students completing the program and tracking their progress.
“The classic has always been a ‘see one, do one, teach one’ mentality, see first, practice later, and teach others later,” Solovyova said. Residents can now practice iteratively with professional feedback in a safe environment.
It also allows to practice rare procedures that may not occur on patients in real life, Solovyova said.
Such training in digital environments like the Metaverse is starting to become more common among other surgical residency programs in the United States, she said.
Certain aspects of the virtual world—a term that’s just starting to enter the conversation—are already here, like VR training, telemedicine, and 3D printing.
Facebook’s announcement last year that it would be rebranding as Meta sparked a ripple of curiosity about the concept. Definitions vary, but at their core is a space where virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (unrelated devices communicating with each other), quantum computing, and several other technologies come together to connect the physical and digital worlds.
A report by industry trends analyst Gartner predicts that by 2026, 25% of Spend at least an hour a day in the virtual world, whether for work, shopping, education or entertainment.
With today’s wearable technology, people can monitor their own vital signs and update their doctors with real-time data. Barry Issenberg, MD, director of the Gordon Center for Simulation and Innovation in Medical Education at the University of Miami, said electronic health records in the virtual world will likely become living documents that are updated through sensors in clothing or furniture, mobile phone apps, or sensors on wearable devices.
Unlike people coming into doctors’ offices for tests and interpreting lab values, doctors already have most of the pictures in the uploaded data.
He said it would help address a common complaint that electronic health records strain medical visits and doctors are distracted by typing information into templates .
Doctors can also set abnormal parameters, and if a patient’s blood pressure is too high or abnormal walking is detected, the doctor will be notified, enabling more proactive, preventative care.
because people will also get the information in reality, when that time comes, they can focus more on their care, Isenberg said.
In Miami, clinicians are using virtual tools to work with emergency responders in the community. For example, they can use a stethoscope to show learners the anatomy under the chest, so responders don’t have to imagine the heart beating — they can see it on the screen while hearing the sound.
At the Bascom-Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, a physician has developed personal goggles that can detect a patient’s visual response, Issenberg said. Goggles are sent to patients with vision problems so doctors can examine them without the patient having to go to the center.
A major stumbling block into the virtual world is that this problem also hinders the use of electronic health records. Health systems use different technologies that often do not communicate with each other.
Metaverse will find more seamless connections in large closed systems, such as the Veterans Administration, Kaiser Permanente and the Mayo Clinic, Isenberg said.
Clinical trial recruitment, patient participation and monitoring may also look different in the Metaverse, said Nimita Limaye, Ph.D., research vice president, life sciences R&D strategy, International Data Corp., headquarters Located in Needham, Massachusetts.
Clinical Trials Digital Access
Many of the challenges associated with clinical trials include a significant burden on patients, which can lead to people not following directions or withdrawing from the trial. Questionnaires can be long and difficult to fill out.
Virtual assistants can issue medication reminders, ask patients how they are feeling each day, read questions to people and record answers
“I don’t think it’s that far off,” Limaye said, noting that voice commands are much more convenient than downloading and using apps, especially for older adults
Amazon Web Services has Using its voice and chatbot solutions, Alexa and Amazon Lex, to increase clinical trial participation, reduce dropout rates, and improve the quality of recorded data.
Limaye said that one day, people with certain diseases or conditions can ask virtual assistants, such as Alexa, What clinical trials can they conduct.
Exclusion and inclusion criteria can be built into technology and virtual assistants can answer trial checklists and directories
COVID- 19 Limaye said clinical trials have been transformed to allow people to deliver medicines and devices directly to patients through telehealth, home health nurses, wearables.
“The life sciences industry saw proof of concept that the technology could be used with clinical trials,” she said.
As technology improves, Limaye added, fair access will become critical.
While few can afford the complexity, however, she points out that other solutions may be more readily available.