What exactly metaverse varies, depending on its origin, from interacting with others within a virtual space to living entirely in a virtual environment through virtual reality, augmented reality, or mixed reality.
However, tthere is a lot of discussion here about the potential of the bill in the health sector and how it will affect the creation and distribution of health-related content.
Sam Glassenberg, CEO and Founder Level Ex, a video game company that offers software for teletraining surgeons, says a version of the metaverse is already part of healthcare.
Glassenberg sell down with MobiHealthNews to discuss the company’s comprehensive offer and how he sees the development of the health care bill.
MobiHealthNews: How would you define the metaverse? Because it doesn’t sound like you’re only thinking about it from a virtual reality perspective.
Sam Glassenberg: Right. I think that’s the whole idea that Web3, for example, will be in virtual reality. And I think some of that might be, but when we think about Web2, it was accessed in the same browser as Web1. So this idea that the metaverse will be all in VR I think is misguided. And this is from someone with, you know, a horse in the race. I mean, we do VR experiences.
But what we’ve seen, for example, is we’ve had 800,000 doctors play our games on mobile; we’ve had 80,000 users of mobile AR where I project a virtual patient, a digital twin into the environment. We have enjoyed around 8,000 AR headsets. So what we find with VR and AR is like, it’s a great experience, but it reduces your reach by two orders of magnitude.
So I think in the future, when we’re all walking around with AR glasses and it’s just part of the environment, that’s going to be the primary mode where you access this content. But I think it’s about a decade away. Between now and then, you can access it on your VR headset. But a lot of it will just be on your phone in your browser.
MOH: How do you see Level Ex working within the metaverse? What are your thoughts on how digital health will change with the rise of the metaverse?
Glassenberg: When it comes to the metaverse, there is a lot of hype. I have spent my career in video games. I worked at LucasArts. I used to be with the DirectX graphics team at Microsoft. My last company made games for Hollywood movies — Hunger Games and Mission Impossible.
At Microsoft, my team’s job was to build what you would call the underlying infrastructure for the metaverse. And this technology is starting to have a big impact outside of gaming. It is changing the way people learn. It is changing the way companies interact with their customers. It is changing the way people work remotely.
I feel like this technology is delivering on the promise of the metaverse. But the metaverse we read about, mostly in the news, is like a scam at worst, and at best an ill-informed prediction of where this stuff is going. At the same time, what we’re seeing is … biotech and pharma companies are basically using this technology to accelerate the adoption of their products, increase sales, and help doctors understand how to use their products to their advantage.
MOH: What is a Level Ex building with immersive technology?
Glassenberg: What we do is we’re able to capture any complex disease mechanism or mechanism and create a game that can be played together in real time via Zoom, to learn about the mechanism or disease.
MOH: How do you see this unfolding as the metaverse changes?
Glassenberg: So when we think about what the future holds, it’s changing the way medical device companies interact with their customers. We are already doing that. Yes, pharmaceutical companies are already training doctors. By early next year, you’ll have doctors in 10 different specialties training in collaboration with sales representatives over Zoom.
So I think that’s the future of the metaverse. Sometimes it includes VR, but sometimes you just access it from your phone. And sometimes you’re engaging one-on-one. Sometimes you are participating in large groups. The example I want to give is that we have versions of [an offering] that we can run in peer-to-peer mode, where instead of you and I playing together, you can have up to 400 people in person or remotely, working together and competing from their phones in a virtual environment to diagnose and treat virtual patients. We’ve been doing this with pharmaceutical customers, with medical device customers, and I got hundreds of people on their phones, interacting with virtual patients that were simulated in the cloud. That is the promise of the metaverse.