More than eight in 10 healthcare executives expect the metaverse to have a positive impact on the healthcare industry, according to a report from Accenture.
The Accenture Digital Health Technology Vision 2022 report called the metaverse “the next horizon” in healthcare, where surgical teams can learn new procedures without having to be physically in the same operating room.
Another application could be found in secure authentication, for example, a traveling patient being able to securely provide their medical information to a caregiver without having to authenticate with a physician.
“In healthcare, today’s biggest opportunity is capitalizing on the potential of the space in between the real and fully virtual worlds,” Kaveh Safavi, a senior managing director in Accenture Health, told Healthcare Finance News.
He added it’s helpful to think about augmented reality and its ability to layer digital information on top of clinicians’ real-world experience – or augmenting medical students’ training with more effective hands-on learning.
Safavi said he was surprised to see that nearly all the healthcare executives in the survey said they believed continuous advances in technology are becoming more reliable than economic, political or social trends in informing their organizations’ long-term strategies.
He pointed out that healthcare executives say IT/security breaches are their primary concern – 64% of those surveyed – particularly deepfakes or other disinformation attacks.
“As the healthcare industry scales up programmable world projects, it will introduce many more connected, intelligent devices, creating new entry points connecting our physical and digital worlds,” he said. “But there are significant challenges to connecting these technologies safely and at scale – data interoperability and cybersecurity.”