July 31, 2022

The Medical Metaverse Digest for July 2022

Metaverse person

Authors: Paris Daniell, Jeff Greene, Andrew Grojean, Alex Kareotes, Jeff MacFarland, Nicole Maksimovic, Sarah Morgan, Rachel Stelmach, Carly Stilwell

The “nextmakers” of EVERSANA INTOUCH know the Medical Metaverse is changing everything, whether you’re a patient, provider, caregiver… or brand marketer. So we’re scouring the world for the latest on the metaverse in healthcare and providing regular updates and ideas on what’s next for your business.

Today’s topics:

  • Highlights from the medical metaverse
  • Digital therapeutics in focus
  • The virtual reality hospital
  • Looking beyond healthcare

Highlights from the medical metaverse

Huge milestone as human subject wears augmented reality contact lens for first time (bigthink.com)

We love this quote: “We will look back at the years when people walked down the street, necks bent, staring down at little screens in their hands as an absurdly primitive way to interact with information.” And, in this blog post, the company CEO describes what it felt like to wear the prototype lenses.

3 ways the metaverse is already reshaping healthcare (fastcompany.com)
Level Ex founder Sam Glassenberg points to medical training, digital twins, and AR-assisted surgery as three beneficial examples of the current medical metaverse.

The future of healthcare is the metaverse (gmw3.com)

This is a great resource for understanding the excitement around digital twin technology, which “has the potential to transform several key areas of healthcare … currently, 25% of healthcare executives have reported using digital twins— while an estimated 66% believe their investment in digital twins will increase within the emerging metaverse.” Here’s a bonus video from Siemens on the importance of digital twins.

Digital therapeutics in focus

The video game prescribed by doctors (bbc.com)

The British news service investigates two digital therapeutics: EndeavorRx, the first Rx app for ADHD, and Thymia, an app being piloted in the UK to help doctors diagnosis depression, which watches and listens for users’ speech and facial expressions as biomarkers that represent their symptoms.

Happify rebrands as Twill, weaving a new name for its expanded digital health and pharma business (endpts.com)
Twill’s chief strategy officer, Chris Wasden, says, on the value of working with a DTx partner: “I think a lot of pharma companies underestimate the heavy lift and challenges that exist in trying to do what we do… it will become more clear to them that partnership is better than trying to build it themselves.” Validating its strategic shift, Twill also announced it’s partnering with Biogen to create a multiple sclerosis community.

AppliedVR taps Komodo Health to prove out its VR therapeutic for chronic pain (fiercehealthcare.com)
The virtual-reality and health-data startups are collaborating to research how well the FDA-approved RelieVRx product works for chronic lower back pain. Expect more digital therapeutics to embark on validation research to get physicians on board.

The virtual reality hospital

Occupational health provider Latus Health developing VR hospital as it eyes opportunities in the metaverse (fiercehealthcare.com)

Latus Health, based in the UK, is creating a VR hospital and mental health clinic, hoping it will improve access and wait times and “fill the void that patients may feel from being in an environment separate from their provider while using traditional remote services.”

Indian hospital chains are increasingly excited about the metaverse, see technology as “transformational” (BusinessToday.In)

From Hyderabad to Gurugram, hospitals are launching VR outposts in hopes of differentiating their offerings, supporting remotely located patients, and driving customer satisfaction.

Virtual hospital, virtual university and wellness studio on metaverse from Thumbay Group (gulfnews.com)

In the UAE, Thumbay Group is developing a comprehensive metaverse hospital that will both serve patients with immersive technology, and educate tomorrow’s physicians, in collaboration with Gulf Medical University.

Looking beyond healthcare

Quest 2 will no longer require a Facebook account from next month (uploadvr.com)

Meta is lowering the barrier to adoption for its VR headset, indicating the social media giant is getting serious about moving past its Facebook roots.

VR documentary “We Met in Virtual Reality” will air on HBO (vrscout.com)

The 90-minute film follows the lives of five individuals using VRChat and immersive tech to connect with others around the world.

Alexa will let your dead grandma tell you a story (gigadgets.com)

Tech has been helping us to create new memories with long-dead celebrities since the days of Forrest Gump… but now it’s hitting home. Is the difference between deepfake and family bonding in the eye of the beholder?