We are currently the unhealthiest nation to exist – a harsh but undeniable fact. Obesity and diabetes have become two of the world’s major health crises. In the UK alone, 63.8% of adults are overweight or obese, and this is increasing year on year.
Technology has partly been blamed for bringing us more convenience and aiding laziness; however, there has been a boom in health and wellness technology, making us obsessed with our health stats. From wearables, apps, connected home gym equipment, and even Wi-Fi-enabled bathroom scales, the health and wellness technology revolution is only growing.
Mckinsey & Company estimates the global wellness market to be worth more than $1.5 trillion, with annual growth of five to 10 per cent. Over the past 25 years, here are the biggest and best innovations in health and wellness technology.
Wearables have come a long way since the pedometer, now able to monitor heart rate and ECG, blood oxygen levels, stress levels, sleep and temperature and with in-built GPS to map routes and enable live tracking. They have become one of the most crucial health and fitness trends, providing critical data, insights and education to individuals on their health. It started with the watch, but we now have wearable rings, earbuds and more. This influx of alternate wearables will be coming to the market in the next few years.
Health and Wellness Apps
With 250 new health and wellness apps launched daily, there is a health and wellness app for almost everything. Today’s most popular apps include the diet tracking app MyFitnessPal, activity tracker Strava and mindfulness and meditation apps, including Headspace and Calm. Other apps which are growing in popularity are recipe apps and women’s health and fertility apps, such as Flo. We will see a growing trend of tailored apps to help support different health conditions, all of which will link to affiliated wearable devices to help put the consumer in control.
Smart home gyms
The home fitness market has exploded since the pandemic; we all know at least one person who purchased a pandemic Peloton. However, this was more than just a trend during the various lockdowns, with working from home the new norm and the intelligent home gym equipment market booming. From spinning bikes, smart treadmills, rowing machines and mirrors which transform into personal trainers, whichever gym equipment is your favourite will become ‘smart’ and connected in the near future and available to have at home.
2023 and beyond
The future of health and wellness will drastically change in the coming years with AI personal trainers, AR workouts and personalised apps just a few trends we will see this year. However, the personal health and wellness industry will cross over into the workplace and healthcare sectors.
Wellness in the workplace is a rising trend, with employers realising the importance of a healthy workforce and taking ownership of workplace-related stress. We will see larger organisations lead the way in new strategies to support employees with initiatives and benefits to improve their health and well-being.
One of the most significant and beneficial areas for development is connecting personal health and well-being data to the healthcare industry. In particular, it will support those with chronic conditions with new ways to monitor health and collect vital data to help manage their needs.
The health and wellness technology industry won’t just turn us into fitness fanatics but also has the power to transform the healthcare industry and support the current obesity crisis.