Metaverse, Blockchains, and VR: Revolutionizing the Health and Wellness Industry
Adityanarayan, Co-Founder, Limoverse, 0
Shed light on how the health and wellness ecosystem is evolving in India. What are the shortcomings slowing down the growth of the industry?
As you know, the Indian healthcare sector largely follows the global trends or more specifically the trends in developed countries, with the trends all about moving beyond diagnosis and treatments to prevention and wellness. This is what Health 5.0 is concerned about. How things matured to this stage is a two-fold phenomenon. Firstly, the discerning class or the educated class of consumers, whether they were in the US or India, were getting seriously disappointed with what the healthcare sector was basically offering - last minute diagnoses and last minute interventions that save and prolong life but at a high cost - of physical pain, emotional pain and financial pain. Covid just happened to be that last straw that broke the entire belief in this system, as senior citizens and those with chronic diseases under this treatment style, succumbed to this pandemic in the thousands. So this disenchantment was the demand side of the equation.
The second phenomenon, however, was the supply side or the enabling side of this riddle. Years before Covid struck, genetic tests and metabolic assessments were getting better and better at predicting a person’s chances for developing any among hundreds of killer lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, dementia etc. They were getting better by the day as that was the kind of deep research going into the genetic and metabolic roots of these diseases. Finally, this culminated in highly effective consumer facing products like EPLIMO, which is an AI driven geno-metabolic assessment for detecting disease probabilities and for suggesting personalized and comprehensive lifestyle modifications spanning diet, nutrition, supplements, exercise, yoga, ayurvedic herbals, alternative therapies etc. At Vieroots, we feel content that we could be the first, and still the only company, that could usher in this prevention & wellness technology into India.
How is blockchain, metaverse and other latest technologies bringing a difference in the ecosystem so far?
In the tech-world, the tech actually precedes the applications. Engineers and technologists first bring in the innovation, and then do companies and even whole sectors utilize them in applications. When such applications become gigantic in their impact, we call them the killer apps for that technology. Ready examples are Hotmail that brought email to the web, or WhatsApp that brought IP based chat, sharing and telephony to the phones. Similar is the case with blockchains and metaverses. These are tech breakthroughs that are still searching for their killer applications. One can argue that
Against conventional healthcare’s growth rate of seven percent now, prevention & wellness is growing at 15 percent, which is more than double the rate. Inside the prevention & wellness sector, there will be some tumbling of tables, in favour of science based and results oriented solutions.
Could you elaborate about the ways VR, AR & XR are transforming the health and wellness associated solutions? How do you perceive customers’ response towards the same?
The obvious first applications in the healthcare sector is going to be virtual reality (VR) assisted tele-consultations where doctors and patients can experience a three-dimensional physical nearness, even when they are in remote locations. And much work is going on nowadays, to find out how other related innovations like Augmented Reality (AR) and Extended Reality (XR) can be utilized to extend doctor’s services from just consultations to directing or controlling medical procedures from a remote location. But I personally believe that the scope for these metaverse technologies like VR, AR & XR are much higher in the prevention & wellness sector.
What is your view on how the industry would turn out to be in the upcoming years?
The momentum is definitely in favour of prevention and wellness. From the current 15-20 percent share of the healthcare pie that it occupies now, it is slated to dominate the sector with a 60 percent share by the end of the next decade. This is no wonder really, as against conventional healthcare’s growth rate of seven percent now, prevention & wellness is growing at 15 percent, which is more than double the rate. Inside the prevention & wellness sector, there will be some tumbling of tables, in favour of science based and results oriented solutions. For instance, now the major chunk of wellness is generic supplements, health foods and diets, but the momentum will definitely shift to genomics based personalized diets, personalized exercise regimens, personalized preventive programs etc.
What is your advice to upcoming leaders while hacking new opportunities in this domain going forward?
Speaking from our own experience, what aspiring leaders in this sector should aim for is innovation. Whether it is Vieroots or Limoverse, what clicked for us is true innovation. In Vieroots, we went beyond just genetic testing - that a few players were offering - to deliver personalized lifestyle modifications spanning diet, nutrition, supplements, exercise, yoga, breathwork, meditation etc that are epigenetic in nature, that is, capable of overriding even genetic susceptibilities to diseases. Our Limoverse project is all about innovation too, as we have been the first and perhaps still the only blockchain based health & wellness ecosystem and metaverse in the world, that brings together health seekers and healthcare providers on an unprecedented global scale. This culture of innovation and uniqueness is what made Limoverse an award winning project that enjoys a great momentum among users from across the world within a year of its launch. Hence my advice would always be to pursue innovation and add superior value to the consumers.