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Welcome to Web 3.0

Here we are, almost 20 years after the last big change: the web 3.0 enables a future where distributed users and machines are able to interact with data, value and other counterparties via a substrate of peer-to-peer networks without the need for third parties. The result: a composable human-centric & privacy preserving computing fabric for the next wave of the web. 

Entering the metaverse

Like mentioned above, the metaverse has been around for a long time. But today the idea gains a lot more traction due to several happenings:

  • COVID has accelerated our transition into the digital world: remote working, Christmas parties via video call, gaming worlds as an alternative to real-life gatherings
  • Monetary policy, “free” money to citizen and therefore high consumption led to rising inflation rates: the acceptance for alternative assets and currencies in the crypto space rose dramatically between 2019 and 2022.
  • Big corporates started their journey into the metaverse: the most prominent example being the rebranding from facebook into Meta with a vision of creating “the next level of the internet”.

Things like this have led to a trend that arrived in every sector within a short time. Most interesting for us: digital health metaverse start-ups were born.

Part 1: Immersive Environments

The healthcare industry started to adapt AR, VR or holograms into some innovative business models. And that is what is meant by immersive environments: a hybrid of real-world and digital components that comes together via technology.

Educational services

In this field we can find start-ups that create simulations in the metaverse. Osso VR for example is helping surgeons to practice their skills and knowledge in virtual environments before treating real humans.

Assistive services

There are also metaverse solutions that lift telesurgery to a whole new level: Vicarious Surgical enables clinicians to use VR headsets for remote surgeries to operate high-precision robots.

Therapeutic services

“Freedom from stress, anxiety and fear.” This is what BehaVR is promising its users. This start-up is creating a virtual world to immerse yourself in innovative meditation practices.

Part 2: Digital Twins

Another example for metaverse start-ups are digital twins: representations of real-world-entities like organs or muscles or even whole organisms that exist in virtual worlds. You may ask: why? Simple: to get insights and prognoses for healthcare decision making.

Digital Twins, opposite to the real world, are powered by “synthetic data” which is basically artificially-generated data that has close relation to possible real-world scenarios.

Organs and muscle groups

You can simulate a human heart with all its biological functions. Those hearts beating in the metaverse will respond to medication, surgeries or catheter interventions like in the counterpart – the real patient. This can save lives and predict outcomes.

Whole-body digital twins

You can get a dashboard of your bodily metrics to create complex simulations of yourself. Sounds unreal? True – it does not exist in the real world, but in the metaverse. Q Bio Gemini is the first clinical whole-body Digital Twin platform powered by data from a whole-body scanner. You can share your individual data with healthcare practitioners or nutritionists for specified treatment.

It is not David vs. Goliath

Sure, there are big pharma companies and corporates like Siemens Healthineers that are exploring the field of the digital health metaverse but true innovation is usually happening in a different breed of company: in start-ups. Digital health metaverse start-ups doubled their total funding from 2020 to 2021.

What is important to understand that it is not an either-or question: start-ups and corporates can work efficiently together but they should never fight each other.

Start-ups are not smaller Versions of large companies!” – Steve Blank

Start-ups can do things corporates can’t and vice versa. And this is why acquisitions like Microsoft buying Nuance for $20bn happen.

Metaverse digital health start-ups are a new class and will definitely need some more time to establish themselves. But the niche is growing fast and as Venture Capitalists and Business Angels we want to take part in the rise and keep our eyes and ears open. No one likes to be late to a party.

#investinhealth with Aescuvest