Medicine in the Metaverse: UAE Wants to Launch First Metaverse Hospital

3 mins read

Listen to this article:

Picture this: You may feel a weird pain in your lower back, and you want to go to the doctor. Yet, the thought of going to the hospital is unbearable. Between the paperwork and the waiting time, you would prefer to ignore the pain rather than go through that. 

But taking care of your health doesn’t have to be complicated, based on an idea from the Thumbay Group. The United Arab Emirates-based medical conglomerate wants to change medicine forever by bringing the hospital to the metaverse.

This October, Thumbay Group plans on launching the first virtual hospital in the metaverse. The hospital will use a computer-generated 3D world to receive patients. 

It sounds great, but how will it work?

Virtual Reality and Metaverse Explained

The metaverse seems to be the buzzword everyone uses in 2022. However, this one has a rather peculiar future. While the concept is already mainstream, its definition is still unclear. 

The metaverse is still in its infancy. For now, we can define it as a complex network of connections built in a 3D world. Imagine the internet merging with an open-world video game — that’s what the metaverse looks like right now.  

There are some elements we must consider about how the metaverse works. We won’t need a card or an invitation to enter the metaverse — but we will need other things, such as a virtual reality headset.

Once we put on the headset, virtual reality is at our fingertips. We can visit any place we want. We can create different avatars and explore the world from the safety of our homes. 

This sounds like a video game compared to a medical experience, right? And if it sounds like it, it is because we have used the metaverse in this way for a long time.  

But the Thumbay Group wants to change that for the better.

How Will a Virtual Hospital Work?

The Thumbay Group wants to leverage this immersion technology to achieve new milestones. The group’s primary goal is to help those who can’t get out of their homes for a medical consultation.

Their proposal seeks to help people who, because of accidents or congenital diseases, have lost mobility of their body. It is difficult for them to go out into the outside world without help. Since they can’t go to the hospital, the hospital will go to them.

Dr. Thumbay Moideen, founder and chairman of the Thumbay Group, described to the Khaleej Times the case of a Sri Lankan patient as an example of how a metaverse hospital can improve care. Dr. Moideen's patient got paralyzed after a car accident. All his sensory movements are gone; only his brain is functioning. 

Thanks to virtual reality, Dr. Moideen can visit his room in Sri Lanka as if he were there. 

The plan is to recreate the entire medical experience for people. Patients will be able to consult their health status in real-time. The hospital will provide its patients with the equipment to access the metaverse.

Dr. Moideen also talks about promoting medical tourism. People can visit the Thumbay Group’s medical facilities as if they were there. According to the company, the UAE’s public healthcare is ready to adopt this technology.

This is a small sample of what the metaverse can achieve. Yet, there are still things to work on. These AR consultations are still virtual. If the patients need a full assessment, they will still have to move.

Finally, Dr. Moideen added that this motivates long-term care patients. He says that it gives them hope that they can return to their country.

The plan could prove to be a model between the metaverse and healthcare. The metaverse seems like the perfect tool for modern medicine, as it may connect patients and doctors in distant parts of the world. 

Feature image courtesy: Intel Free Press/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

 

You may also like

Recent Articles