Metavers

CVS files patent to sell goods and healthcare services in the metaverse

CVS files patent to sell goods and healthcare services in the metaverse
Written by Publishing Team

Photo: Kilito Chan/Getty Images

CVS Health has filed for a trademark that would allow it to sell goods and services in the metaverse, according to a document filed with the US Patent Trade Office.

A metaverse is a network of three-dimensional virtual worlds. It’s sometimes described as a version of the internet that functions as a single, digital world facilitated by the use of virtual and augmented reality headsets.

The term has gained popularity since Facebook announced its intent to launch a metaverse, essentially providing a 3D, virtual iteration of its social media platform. Facebook went so far as to change its name to Meta, an umbrella company that owns social media platforms Facebook and Instagram.

WHAT’S THE IMPACT

In the filing, CVS Health said it wants to trademark its logo and establish an online store, as well as create downloadable virtual goods ranging from prescription drugs to beauty and personal care products.

It is the first pharmacy to do so, though trademark attorney Josh Gerben said there’s been a flurry of mataverse filings since Facebook announced the name Meta, according to CNBC.

CVS also wants to transition some of its in-store health services to a virtual setting, such as non-emergency medical treatment services, wellness programs, nutrition advisory services, and health lifestyle and nutrition counseling.

The company will create its downloadable virtual goods using blockchain technology, and digital assets and collectibles will be sold as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

NFTs are poised to become a significant source of revenue for companies operating in the virtual realm, positioning CVS to potentially tap into a new and burgeoning market opportunity.

The filing describes an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of downloadable multimedia files containing artwork, text, audio and video relating to retail consumer goods a variety of consumer goods, prescription drugs, health, wellness, beauty and personal care products and general merchandise authenticated by non-fungible tokens.

CVS also plans to sell non-virtual consumer goods via the metaverse.

THE LARGER TREND

While CVS Health plans to up its presence in the virtual world, it will have a smaller presence in the physical one, as it announced plans in November to close 900 of its stores nationwide over the next three years, restructuring itself to offer more healthcare services in the remaining locations.

The company will create three new distinct store formats aimed at driving higher engagement with consumers, and to serve as community health destinations. These include traditional CVS Pharmacy stores, which will provide prescription services and health, wellness and personal care; sites specializing in primary care service offerings; and enhanced versions of HealthHUB locations, which offer screenings, monitoring, counseling and treatment options, as well as products for common health and wellness needs.

CVS Health has projected a healthy chunk of revenue in 2022 to the tune of at least $304 billion, it said during its Investor Day in December. The growth in revenue projections is due in part to a company strategy of investing in high-growth areas of the business and the introduction of new health products, services and technologies, which CVS said will enhance shareholder value.

Twitter: @JeanLagasse
Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com

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