Skip to main content

Call for papers - The metaverse and its applications in healthcare

Guest Editors:
Giacinto Barresi, PhD, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy
Carlo Massaroni, PhD, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Italy

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 12 December 2024

BMC Digital Health is calling for submissions to our Collection, The metaverse and its applications in healthcare. The metaverse combines elements of the internet, virtual reality, and augmented reality. It has potential in healthcare, from training doctors to providing real-time health data. The pandemic also highlighted the importance of online health solutions, for which the metaverse can play a major role. But there are challenges, like ensuring patient information is kept private and that everyone can use this technology equally. For this collection we are inviting papers on the application of the metaverse in healthcare.  Topics that will be considered include, but are not limited to, VR/AR in medical training, patient care in the metaverse, telemedicine, digital twins, virtual health communities, collaborative medical research in virtual spaces, AI in the healthcare metaverse, hospital design and ethical considerations.

Meet the Guest Editors

Back to top

Giacinto Barresi: Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy

Giacinto Barresi is a researcher in neuroergonomics and human-centred design of robotic devices, virtual/augmented environments, and digital systems for biomedical (surgical, rehabilitative, prosthetic, assistive) applications. He works at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), specifically in the Rehab Technologies Lab, a joint laboratory of IIT and the Italian National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL). He is the coordinator of ENACT, a project supported by the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and Association (FISM and AISM, respectively) in synergy with RAISE, ecosystem for innovation. He also manages the GameAbility initiative for teaching accessibility in high schools.

Carlo Massaroni: Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Italy

Carlo Massaroni is an Assistant Professor of Measurements and Biomedical Instrumentation. His research interests are focused on the design, development and assessment of technologies and devices for physiological and behavioral measurements. In particular: design of wearable systems and soft sensors for non-invasive measurement of physiological and biomechanical parameters signs; tests of available technologies for non-invasive measurements in the medical field; tests on real-world applications. Dr. Massaroni is a member of the IEEE, IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society, of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology. He is currently the Secretary of the IEEE Sensors Italy Chapter where he also serve as chair of the “Wearable Sensors” topical committee of the IEEE Sensors Italy Chapter. He serves as a member of the EMB Standards Committee "IEEE P1752 Open Mobile Health Working Group" focused on the definition of specifications for a mobile health data applications programming interface (API) and standardized representations for mobile health data and metadata. He is a members-at-large of the Technical Committee on Biomedical Imaging and Image Processing (BIIP), IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS).

About the Collection

BMC Digital Health is calling for submissions to our Collection, The metaverse and its applications in healthcare. 

The metaverse is a growing digital platform. It combines elements of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and the internet to create shared online spaces; these have potential applications across many industries, with healthcare being a major area of interest.

Recent technical developments certainly show that virtual and augmented realities can be beneficial in healthcare. For example, VR can help train medical students, while AR might provide useful patient data during operations. The metaverse can take these benefits further by offering tools and platforms that could change how we approach medicine.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for remote medical solutions. The metaverse can potentially help here, too, offering, for example, new ways for doctors to consult with patients, provide therapy, or even create virtual support groups.

But there are challenges. As the metaverse becomes more integrated into healthcare, concerns about patient data privacy and equal access to these technologies arise. It's crucial to address these issues as we explore the potential benefits.

This collection's goal is to look at both the opportunities and challenges of using the metaverse in healthcare.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in medical training and education
  • Patient care and rehabilitation in the metaverse
  • Telemedicine - remote consultations in immersive environments
  • Ethical Considerations - privacy, inclusivity, and accessibility in the metaverse
  • Digital twins - the future of personalized medicine
  • Virtual health communities - support, outreach, and therapy.
  • Collaborative medical research in virtual spaces
  • Implications of AI and machine learning in the healthcare metaverse
  • The future of hospital design - virtual clinics and health Spaces

Please email Alison Cuff, the editor for BMC Digital Health, ( if you would like more information before you submit.

Image credit: Dkosig / Getty Images / iStock

There are currently no articles in this collection.

Submission Guidelines

Back to top

This Collection welcomes submission of original Research Articles. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select "The metaverse and its applications in healthcare" from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.