In recent years, however, another possibility has emerged. Taking their cues from the aviation industry, medical institutions have been moving towards simulation-based training, based on virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR). Moving forward, we are likely to see the introduction of an entirely new educational environment, located within the so-called ‘metaverse’.  

“With no standard definition yet, the metaverse means different things to different people depending on the nature of their business,” says Rupantar Guha, an analyst at GlobalData. “However, GlobalData defines the metaverse as a virtual world where users share experiences and interact in real time within simulated scenarios.” 

Within medical training, this means mapping the body in 3D, in precise anatomical detail – a world apart from the 2D images students have classically needed to study. It also means giving surgeons a space to hone their skills before they use them on a real patient.  

“We have noticed that medical residents who want to specialise in interventional cardiology don’t have many opportunities to get hands-on experience,” says Dr Ioannis Skalidis, of the department of cardiology at Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland. “In the metaverse, a lot of people at the same time can participate in operations and familiarise themselves with being the first operator.” 


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