I remember visiting the virtual world of Second Life in 2006 as an interesting experience at best. While Second Life was founded based on an open and rule-free community, it now appears to have moved on as a central platform with ‘immersive virtual reality’ aspects. Without all the crucial building blocks, Second Life – despite the idealistic vision of its founders at the time – did not meet the conditions for developing into a true metaverse. But now, we can design new healthcare in the metaverse. So let’s step into the future.
It’s June 2030. In the morning, I activate the Data-Driven Doctor Universal Space Experience. I do a short assessment – including a check-up of my vitals – and, in the blink of an eye, I am presented with several possibilities in my VR environment. With my digital identity recommended to me today, I move around from space to space. The version of “character” I should have is calculated in real-time following my performance over time in various skills, assessments of my fitness performance, focus, as well as my preferences regarding individual goals.
I compile my daily program, knowing that I can still change it. Replacement is as easy as getting an Uber in the twenties. Today there are three live space meets in my Space Experience. Based on the weather forecast and activity in the area, some excellent options appear. I select one with a lady with breast cancer who virtually brings her community of nutritionist citizens. Apparently, the experience has already suggested a match with my community and experts from different countries will tune in on nutritional supplements.
Between 2 and 8 p.m. I’ll be out of space because then I’m going to do something for myself. Afterward, I will sign up for the fun space booking an ‘all you can learn’ happy hour. My favourite because there you can sometimes get unexpected bonus performance points. At the same time, we have a lot of fun practicing cases while gaming to stack our insights and train underlying algorithms.
This fun space automatically filters down to ‘fun’ or ‘expertise’ because you are in the Doctor Space Experience. You automatically build your profile in various communities, data-driven, and zero-knowledge proof. Upon entering the space, your performance level is displayed. This allows you to stack knowledge in a responsible way, packaged in underlying decision support systems and predictive algorithms.
Because of the close cooperation within communities, openness is the norm, and that always includes sharing expertise and experience. So, for example, If someone had visited a community before and gained some valued skills there or learned things that made them stand out, they automatically take that to other spaces. In this way, the data-driven doctor develops a diverse range of expertise, which the sector would never have come up with. The same applies to the other members of the spaces, such as technology developers, patients, and researchers.
Let’s go creative
Building a virtual world together is already quite normal for my children. For example, my son recently showed me his self-built world in Roblox, an online game-creation environment. He explained to me that it was handy to grab the digital bat to fly quickly through his world. In this way, he clears his mind for a moment, seamlessly allowing physical life to flow into the imaginary and vice versa.
This takes you out of the status quo, which is necessary to become creative. Or, as my kids say, “Let’s get creative!”. I’m convinced that we all benefit from this, including me as a doctor.
Now let’s turn to the patient: in the space, they will quickly call in a team of healthcare professionals whenever they feel the need. Patients and people who want to stay healthy also make their data available to parties who can use it to create health gains. In this way, we steer the development, adjustment, or deployment of technology. All aimed at better health.
As I continue to fantasize about metaverse, we have moved from the current version 1.0 to the 5.0 data-driven learning organization. In it, we can all get the most out of ourselves at any given moment.