Beyond education, metaverse technologies can assist healthcare professionals as they plan and complete diagnosis and treatment.
Back in 2020, for example, neurosurgeons at Johns Hopkins Hospital performed
the institution’s first operation using an augmented reality headset by Augmedics, a surgical assistance pioneer. The surgeon used a see-through eye display that projected the images of a patient’s anatomy to fuse six vertebrae in a patient’s spine in order to cure persistent back pain. So, the solution basically gave the surgeon the needed X-ray vision.
Medical metaverse environments can be used for surgical planning as well. InVisionOS
, for example, allows surgeons to better do preoperative planning by converting patients’ CT scans into 3D reconstructions accessible through headsets. So, surgeons may view, manipulate, and isolate relevant anatomical areas before performing the surgery.
Medical metaverse tools could also be used as an amplification to prescribed treatments. This way, assistive therapy solutions, like EaseVR, are getting attention. EaseVR
is a prescription-based solution that uses CBT and other behavioral therapy methods to assist patients with chronic back pain. The solution consists of a VR headset and a controller and relies, among other techniques, on deep relaxation, attention-shifting, and interoceptive awareness to address the physiological symptoms of pain. Test results report that at the end of the assisted treatment, 66% of EaseVRx participants reported experiencing less pain, compared to 41% of control participants who received usual care alone.
When it comes to bettering the population’s mental health
, metaverse environments can help extend access to therapy. Along with GameChange we referred to earlier in the article, there are several prominent startups rising on the metaverse and mental health scene. Floreo
, for example, helps children with autism spectrum disorder practice behavioral skills by placing them in different social contexts. And Luminopia
helps treat neuro-visual impairments, like amblyopia, in children by generating specially modified digital scenes.