PSWE-01 - Discover the new experience of community pharmacy through the metaverse

Great Hall 1
Organised by FIP Technology Advisory Group in collaboration with FIP's Health and Medicines Information Section


Dr Lars-Åke Söderlund, Advisor FIP Congress Programme Development Group, Sweden and and Dr Boyan Todorov, ExCo member FIP Health and Medicines Information Section, Switzerland


The metaverse is a hot topic and much has been written and spoken about its potential to revolutionize gaming, entertainment, socializing, work and commerce. Not so much has been said, however, about how it could affect healthcare – but this is another field where its impact could be transformational. The metaverse is the next version of the internet, one that will take advantage of artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and ever-increasing connectivity (for example, 5G networks) to create online environments that are more immersive, experiential and interactive than what we have today.

The metaverse involves the convergence of three major technological trends, which all have the potential to impact healthcare individually. But together they could create entirely new channels for delivering care that has the potential to lower costs and vastly improve patient outcomes. These are tele-presence (allowing people to be together virtually, even while apart physically), digital twinning, and blockchain (and its ability to allow us to create a distributed internet). Hospitals will soon offer their services in the metaverse and pharmacies will closely follow. There are many questions about the so-called meta pharmacies and when they will become available for customers. It is expected that one billion people will use VR headsets by 2030.

The world’s first metaverse pharmacy was established in Sweden in March 2022 and other metaverse pharmacies are being established in other countries. The metaverse includes several layers including infrastructures like 5G and Wi-Fi, and cloud human interfaces like smart glasses and wearables. These also integrate decentralized tools such as blockchain, spatial computing including geospatial mapping, 3D, virtual reality, and various other experiences which include games, social, shopping and e-sports. For example, patients can access the metaverse using virtual reality (VR) equipment like headsets, gloves and vests, along with augmented reality (AR) such as smartwatches and artificial intelligence (AI). Patients can pay for the services using digital currency or their credit cards. Another perspective is that the number of elderly people aged 65 or over worldwide is projected to double to more than 1.5 billion people in 2050. Chronic conditions are increasing and patients are often suffering from more than one ailment. With chronic diseases on the rise, demand for healthcare and innovative solutions is growing globally.



11:00 – 11:10 Session introduction by the chairs
11:10 – 11:40 Revolutionizing community pharmacy: navigating the metaverse experience
Mr Philippe Gerwill, Switzerland
11:40 – 12:25

Panel discussion with chairs, speakers and:

  • Prof. Betty Chaar, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Mr Daragh Connolly, ExCo Member Community Pharmacy Section, Ireland
12:25 – 12:30 Closing

Learning objectives

  • To explain the metaverse
  • To describe how pharmacy can adapt to the metaverse with a service portfolio
  • To identify challenges and opportunities when providing pharmacy services via the metaverse

Take home messages

In the metaverse, humans are fully immersed in a virtual world, interacting with one another through an avatar. Patients will arrive at the metaverse pharmacy as avatars, consult with a meta-pharmacist, and receive a virtual prescription. The actual medicine will later be delivered by drone or printed at home. One of the biggest challenges is to ensure patients’ privacy and data in the metaverse. Is pharmacy prepared to deliver its services in this way? Are we ready for the future?