by Josef Erl
In South Wales, medical institutions are working with a VR training startup on a digital platform for people in healthcare. The “Mediverse” aims to connect medical professionals and enable VR training from home.
The Mediverse: A metaverse for medicine
“You may have heard of the Metaverse,” Azize Naji, founder of Welsh startup Goggleminds, begins explaining his project in an interview. It’s a virtual reality space, he says, where users interact with a computer-generated environment and other people. “We’ve taken it one step further with the ‘mediverse’.”
The Mediverse is a digital platform focused on medical VR training, he said. Unlike other medical VR training apps, professionals and medical students should be able to access Mediverse from anywhere and connect with each other on a national and international level.
Clinical scenarios recreated virtually
Goggleminds recreates clinical environments and scenarios in virtual reality as they occur in real life. Doctors, surgeons, medical nurses and students can test skills or consolidate knowledge without endangering themselves or their patients.
Mediverse’s VR experiences include simulations for medical students and nurses to properly prepare patients for procedures. Goggleminds is also working with the University of South Wales on VR training that specializes in treating children.
“What we do is we use the power of virtual reality technology to re-create clinical environments and clinical scenarios to replicate what you’d get in real life,” Naji said. “So a doctor or nurse, surgeon, or medical student, can test those skills and can retain that knowledge without having to put themselves or patients in danger.”
VR training is intended to provide a positive experience for those learning these skills and make it more accessible, according to Naji.
VR in medicine has great potential
Goggleminds is not the only company looking to bring virtual reality to the healthcare sector. Immersive technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality have the potential to be a billion-dollar market in medicine. Market researchers estimate that this sector will be worth almost ten billion dollars by the end of 2027.
In addition to training medical professionals, VR for medicine has other benefits. In the UK, hospitals are using VR as an anesthetic. VR anesthesia has only a single and rare side effect with motion sickness, according to Experts. It also reduces hospital costs because in some cases, unlike general anesthesia, no subsequent overnight stay is necessary.