As Metaverse hype transforms into corporate strategy, we’re finally seeing legacy health companies come out to play in the digital sandbox. From CVS filing trademarks for its pharmacy and clinical health services in the Metaverse to Teladoc’s Alexa partnership (which some may argue isn’t a Metaverse play, but anything that blurs the lines of digital and physical is worth considering), the great healthcare disruption is making its debut in the Metaverse and it’s time to pay attention.
Here are the 3 must haves for your Metaverse Health Strategy
As an industry, healthcare is notoriously slow to technological evolutions, but with COVID19 accelerating digital health adoption, we’re at a pivotal moment for healthcare to claim its stake in the Metaverse and ensure that healthcare is secure, accessible and effective in the next tech evolution.
Healthcare on the blockchain is still a new concept for many, but it has proven its effectiveness in Estonia, where each citizen’s health data is securely encrypted on the blockchain, and each citizen is the owner of their health data, able to grant access to it to authorized parties (such as a new clinician). Blockchain technology provides the security and interoperability current EHR standards lack, while also ensuring data sovereignty to individuals. Blockchain technologies are the basis for the Metaverse economy and identity, allowing individuals to navigate the new digital world with security and confidence. For any healthcare company looking to engage in the Metaverse, their technologies must be blockchain enabled. Such companies leading the way include Solve.Care which powers digital health networks on the blockchain and Estonia’s KSI Blockchain created by Guardtime
Now health content has had a moment during the pandemic, with the likes of YouTube, Netflix and TikTok leading the way in health media and communications. While many digital health companies have started building out their content libraries, from how-to videos to lifestyle lessons, content in the Metaverse is necessary to create successful digital experiences. The Metaverse is, in many ways, the internet built by gamers, who are themselves content consumers and creators. With healthcare, content in the Metaverse needs to be accessible and actionable, leaning heavily into entertainment to create a healthcare experience that is unrecognizable as “healthcare”. From games that increase physical activity to immersive stories for anxiety, the Metaverse is full of opportunities for better health engagement through immersive content.
Lastly, your Metaverse health strategy will only succeed if you build it to be social. The Metaverse is the next iteration of social connectivity, and if individuals feel isolated while receiving virtual care, they are less likely to continue the experience. Looking back at the evolution of the internet, from message boards to email to social media, we need experiences that foster socialization and community and we rely on technologies to make that possible. In the Metaverse, health experiences must be social — from group therapy sessions to sharing chronic condition care tips — the Metaverse is a social gathering place and health is no exception. Healthcare organizations with established online communities or social practices will have an easier time finding their Metaverse footing, such The Mighty or My Health Teams
Ultimately, the Metaverse is still emerging, but as industries like retail, gaming and banking start dominating this brave new world, it’s necessary that healthcare takes a stand so that the Metaverse can reach its full potential. As you start to decipher fact from fiction, take a moment to see how your healthcare company can contribute to the Metaverse and be a part of the next great healthcare evolution.