UAE - Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres, under Aster DM Healthcare, has emerged as the UAE's first medical facility to be present in the metaverse, winning the historic race to the future by planning a full-scale rollout of their hospitals on Web 3.0.
Medcare is one of the largest healthcare provider chains in Dubai and Sharjah.
This is in line with Dubai's vision to become the world's metaverse hub with the government's strategy announced this July.
To achieve this objective, Medcare partnered with BIOMETAVERSE and announced its virtual existence by going live on October 11, 2022.
Hosted on a public cloud within the geographical limits of the UAE, the Metaverse healthcare facility aims to provide a glimpse of the real-life experience at Medcare Women & Children Hospital.
Medcare will use the metaverse in their medical tourism initiatives, giving potential patients a chance to have an Immersive visual experience of the hospital facility, allowing for trust and transparency.
Alisha Moopen, Deputy Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare, said, "With the introduction in the metaverse, we will set the benchmark for immersive virtual patient experience across the Medcare network. In the upcoming months, Medcare plans a Metaverse rollout of Medcare Hospital Al Safa and Medcare Orthopedics & Spine Hospital, enhancing the functionality of their current Metaverse facility to elevate virtual patient experiences."
Dr. Shanila Laiju, Chief Executive Hospital (CEO), Medcare Hospitals and Medical Centers, said, "With this, we will deliver actual healthcare services by incorporating the delivery of real-time consultations through our team of over 400 medical experts. We expect in the long-run, traditional "telemedicine" services to be replaced by a need for Metaverse interactions, allowing our patients to receive a more tangible and collaborative service."
Veneeth Purushotaman, Chief Information Officer (CIO), Aster DM Healthcare, said, "Technology acceleration has revolutionised the healthcare industry with artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced diagnostics, robotic surgical care, genome sequencing, augmented reality, wearable devices giving patients a renewed chance at better life quality and longevity. We are now entering a new era using technology not only for administrative systems and medical developments but also enhanced virtual patient journeys allowing for improved informed decision making and better access to care."
"The purpose of the metaverse is to provide customers with an immersive experience when they are unable to be present physically. Therefore, in the healthcare sector, there are several areas where the metaverse will be beneficial. For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic, due to travel restrictions and lockdowns, people were unable to visit hospitals. However, they still wanted to speak with their doctors, consult with their physicians, or just generally get some help. Metaverse is a tool that can provide patients with that universal experience even when they are physically unable to be there," he added.
"We believe there are several benefits. We wanted to be pragmatic and look at use cases that offer benefits to the patients. The first is that people will be able to get a first-hand look at the facilities and infrastructure even when they are unable to visit the hospital when making the decision to avail of health services. Whether they are not in Dubai or have any other constraints preventing them from visiting our hospital, the metaverse will allow them to have the experience of visiting the hospital and even feel like they are working at the hospital," Purushotaman said.
"Something they would otherwise have to do by flying into Dubai and visiting various hospitals before making their decision. The other benefit that we see is allowing the patient or their family to speak with the doctor in a more personal and immersive capacity than a voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) call. The metaverse gives you the experience of sitting in front of a doctor or a healthcare provider and having a conversation with him," he said.
According to him, the value that this solution provides is that of accessibility and affordability. "Accessibility, because you will be able to visit the hospital or speak with a healthcare provider personally, without having to physically visit the hospital. Affordability, because it saves you the cost of travelling and staying in Dubai for that time. It also helps us build trust and transparency," he added.
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