Metaverse, the virtual universe created by Facebook parent Meta, is yet to develop, but the technology appears to be carving out a niche in sensitive sectors such as education and healthcare. The global healthcare market in the metaverse is projected to reach a valuation of nearly $500 billion (approximately Rs. 41,44,020 crore) by 2033. This figure has been calculated by a market research firm Spherical Insights, which published its recent report on the metaverse’s potential to boom the healthcare sector over the next nine years. meta

According to a report by Spherical Insights, the global metaverse in healthcare market size will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 49.3 percent from 2023 to 2033. The report, published last month, said the global metaverse in market size of healthcare is expected to reach $496.26 billion (approximately Rs. 41,12,780 crore) by 2033. The market size for healthcare in the meta universe was estimated at $8.97 billion last year. The report also notes that the Asia Pacific market is expected to grow the fastest during the forecast period.

Integrating the metaverse into health research and studies has the potential to bring new and collaborative approaches to the sector, the report argues. Navigating through futuristic surgical training methods and telemedicine can be made visually more explicable through metaverse technology.

The metaverse can also help healthcare professionals train and practice their skills in augmented and virtual reality hands-on sessions. Technology can also go a long way in aiding remote consultations and patient monitoring.

The report attributes the expected growth to several factors such as the increased use of telemedicine in cases of remote patient consultations and patient monitoring for home care recipients and the rise in the use of AR and VR technology in hospitals and clinics for surgical procedures. “Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies can enable more realistic virtual appointments, consultations and examinations, which will give a meta-universe boost to the growth of the healthcare market,” it said.

While the Spherical Insights report estimates that the metaverse healthcare sector will grow to a market of nearly $500 billion, other market research firms such as To healthcareand Research and Markets put forward a more conservative estimate, with a projected CAGR of 26.3% and 34% respectively. The Tower Healthcare report estimates that the metauniverse in healthcare market size will exceed $81.99 billion by 2032.

Medical companies and brands are already starting to establish themselves in the metaverse to become early adopters of this technology. In 2022, for example, Hyderabad-based Yashoda Hospital established experience zone in the Decentraland metaverse, claiming to be the first hospital chain in India to do so.

Built on blockchain networks, metauniverse ecosystems are fully functional virtual environments for people to work together, play games, and communicate as digital avatars from the privacy and comfort of their homes.

According to a report published by research firm InsightAce Analytic in October 2023, the coming together of the metaverse and the education sector is expected to generate over $102 billion (roughly Rs. 8,48,980 crore) by 2031.

However, industry researchers have advised tech firms to focus on producing affordable and advanced hardware capable of allowing people to explore the metaverse to its full potential.

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