Saturday, May 27, 2023

“The Metaverse and Medical Education: Image or Truth?”

The session of the National Academy of Medicine of Mexico on March 22, 2013 focuses on “metatruth” and its effects on the teaching and practice of medicine. The word metaverse is not new, but it comes from the Greek “meta” (above or behind) and universe (the set of all things that exist).

The word metaverse was first used in the 1992 science fiction novel “Snowcrash” by Neal Stepehenson. A concept developed with technological advances, used on various platforms such as Second Life, Roblox, Fortnite, Player One, Pokémon Go, Decentraland.

The Metaverse represents a highly immersive virtual reality world where people come together to socialize, play, and work. It is considered a space that connects the virtual and the real, creating a “third space”. Such a space should ideally be universal, unified, interoperable, and bring together existing virtual worlds. Metaverse features;

  • Corporeality. People are represented by avatars and are limited by the laws and resources defined in the system.
  • Interactivity. Users can communicate with each other and interact with the metaverse.
  • Perseverance A system continues to function and develop even if some or all of its components are not coherent.
  • Photo: canvas

    In the last two decades, the potential of a metaverse in education has been discussed, as a result of which universities will have to develop virtual world platforms for the educational process. In October 2021, the metaverse rose to worldwide fame after Mark Zuckerberg announced the change from Facebook to Meta.

    How many types of metamorphosis are there?

    Four types of metaversion have been described;

  • Augmented reality: intelligent environments using location and network based technologies, eg Pokemon Go, digital versions.
  • Vital or log life: technology to capture, store and share everyday information about things and people, through “wearable” devices, such as the Apple Watch.
  • Mirror world: reflects the real world and integrates the external environment, such as using Google Maps.
  • Virtual reality: uses a virtual world built with digital data, with interactions between avatars, like players in online games (Second Life, Roblox).
  • They have several implications for education in the health professions: three-dimensional learning through digital virtuality, interactive experiences immersed in the context of studies, promoting personal learning, giving feedback, reducing drop-in, overcoming physical and spatial limitations of education, practicing in difficult environments with risk and risk (such as surgeries).

    Benefits and limitations of Metaverse in Medicine

    In this space, students and teachers can connect beyond the limits of circumstances (for example, school closures due to a pandemic); The power of eminent freedom has the ability to create and communicate, in an environment of greater autonomy.

    Photo: canvas

    On the other hand, there are limitations such as: personal relationships are weaker than in real life; privacy issues in the processing of personal data; it is difficult to control the activities of users, exposed to harassment, cybercrimes, false appearances; the phenomenon of mistaken identity, reality and maladjustment to escape reality.

    Metaverse has multiple potential applications in clinical practice, in the assessment of learning, as it is beginning to be demonstrated in different countries.

    In Mexico it is necessary to explore these tools, analyze them with academic rigor, in the learning environment of students, residents and practicing doctors, as well as the clinical good health of patients in the health system.

    Some universities such as the Tecnologico de Monterrey and the National Autonomous University of Mexico have begun to venture into the field, with interesting and promising results.

    Nation World News Desk
    Nation World News Desk
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