The Right Recipe for the Metaverse (cepInput)
Diagnosis, therapy, prevention: virtual worlds, known as metaverse, will revolutionise healthcare. The Commission plans to present an EU metaverse strategy in July. The Centre for European Policy (cep) sees huge opportunities for the health sector but insists on a binding seal of quality to protect personal data.
"The Commission should prioritise the health sector. It is crucial to consider the interplay between data protection and competition," says Patrick Stockebrandt, health expert at cep. He has weighed up the opportunities and risks of the metaverse with cep digital expert Anselm Küsters - and identified significantly more advantages. "Virtual worlds link data that was previously evaluated separately in real time, such as eye movements, brain waves or heart activity. As a result, diagnosis and therapy will improve significantly," Küsters emphasises.
According to the two researchers, the diversity of data in the metaverse could overcome the current reproduction crisis in medicine. "At the same time, the combination of virtual reality with biofeedback poses new challenges to data protection, which, however, cannot be sufficiently verified either by the user or by competition. Only if sufficient technology trust is built up in the population can the health policy potential of the Metaverse be exploited," says Küsters.
Together with Stockebrandt, he therefore calls for a seal of quality for virtual worlds. This is a real regulatory challenge, he stresses, precisely because the metaverse is still being developed. "Above all, data protection, transparency and access standards should pave the European way towards a health-relevant metaverse," Stockebrandt demands. Only then can the metaverse benefit people.