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How the Metaverse can help in Elder Care

There are nearly 138 million elderly persons in India in 2021, including 67 million men and 71 million women, according to the report. An increase of nearly 34 million elderly persons was seen in 2021 over the population census of 2011. This number is expected to increase by 56 million by 2031.

While the population of elderly men is projected to have risen by 26.5% from the 2011 census, the number of elderly women rose by 39.%. By 2031, while the elderly male population is projected to rise by 39% from 2021, the number of elderly females is expected to rise by 41.9%.

Today, there are more than 46 million older adults aged 65 and older living in the U.S.; by 2050, that number is expected to grow to almost 90 million. Between 2020 and 2030 alone, the time the last of the baby boom cohorts reach age 65, the number of older adults is projected to increase by almost 18 million.

 In 2021, more than one-fifth (20.8%) of the EU population was aged 65 and over. The share of people aged 80 years or above in the EU’s population is projected to have a two-and-a-half-fold increase between 2021 and 2100, from 6.0% to 14.6%

China has been hard-pressed to address its rapidly aging population in recent years. People aged 60 and older totaled 264 million, or 18.7% of China’s population, according to the 2020 census released this year, and people aged 65 and above accounted for 13.5%.

In some countries, the sheer number of people entering older ages will challenge national infrastructures, particularly health systems. This numeric surge in older people is dramatically illustrated in the world’s two most populous countries: China and India. China’s older population – those over age 65 – will likely swell to 330 million by 2050 from 110 million today. India’s current older population of 60 million is projected to exceed 227 million in 2050, an increase of nearly 280 percent from today.

We are bullish about Metaverse, we think it will transform healthcare in the future. While some aspects of the metaverse are already present in video games and virtual/augmented reality devices, we still have a long way to go before we can have real-world interactions in the metaverse. 

We’ll need to know how to create lifelike avatars of ourselves if we wish to have lifelike social interactions with others who are geographically distant.

There are several ways in which this could benefit senior citizens. First and foremost, improved, more lifelike communication will significantly improve telehealth. When a doctor can see you in 3D, the statement “the doctor will see you now” takes on a whole new meaning. This also means you can receive a second opinion from a doctor anywhere on the planet.

The metaverse’s possibilities are limitless. From leaving a legacy to exploring the world in a holodeck and playing tennis with Roger Federer, the possibilities are endless.

Meta could be a game changer if it delivers on its promise and provides a world where people can have realistic social interactions independent of their actual location.

We have the potential to design the metaverse in a way that adds value to our lives and improves society because it is still a work in progress. If we choose to, we can make the metaverse a truly age-inclusive space. It’s up to us as a community whether it becomes that or not.