Digitization, the buzzword of the 21st century, is sweeping across sectors, the wellness industry is no different. Valued at USD 1.5 trillion in 2021, the industry is heading towards a digital future accelerated by a once-in-a-century pandemic. After the initial setback due to the pandemic, the wellness industry is slowly pivoting back to normalcy.
Emerging technologies and new apps coupled with changes in customer behavior have ensured that the wellness industry is well on its path to embracing digital solutions to meet the demands of new-age consumers.
Digital wellness solutions Making Inroads in the Wellness Industry
The last few years have seen digitization becoming a part of the industry, making its presence felt in multiple aspects of healthcare and wellness. Some of the most notable ones are:
1. A Rise in the Usage of Wearable Devices
A boom in fitness trends has accelerated the demand for wearable devices. Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and smart jewelry have become a part of an individual’s wardrobe and accessory.
A fitness-conscious population coupled with an increasing prevalence of chronic diseases has contributed to the surge of wearable devices. Providing real-time information on the user’s overall well-being, these devices have found an increased adoption among the masses.
No wonder the global wearable technology market pegged at USD 40.64 billion in 2020 is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.8% from 2021 to 2028.
The growing popularity of IoT-connected devices, increase in smartphone penetration, and positive growth prospects of next-generation displays will further fuel the growth of wearable devices and make them an integral part of an individual’s lifestyle.
Leading fitness players are also leveraging advanced machine learning algorithms to harness data-mined insights that facilitate personalized workout and diet plans in line with the individual’s unique health profile and objectives. This has significantly improved the results for many users, driving them to stick to tech-led platforms.
2. Growing Preference for Telehealth
While telehealth always made a strong case, the Covid-19 pandemic accentuated its adoption by leaps and bounds. For instance, while telehealth accounted for less than 5% of India’s overall healthcare IT market before Covid-19, it rose to 47% during the pandemic. Also, earlier there were no proper guidelines on telehealth. The pandemic changed the situation drastically forcing the Government to come out with definitive guidelines.
Globally, there has been a marked increase in the downloads of different telehealth apps. For example, the patient companion app for Intouch health had around 2300 downloads in 2019 but over 22,300 in Q2, 2020 – an increase of around 870%. Similarly, Medispourt’s V2MD app increased from 50 in 2019 to around 4100 in Q2, 2020, an increase of 8270%.
Even otherwise, the multiple benefits that telehealth brings to the table are accelerating people towards adopting this mode of consultation with doctors and caregivers.
The fact that telehealth gives all individuals the opportunity to access quality healthcare irrespective of their background is catalyzing its growth. Also, by making digital solutions more inclusive, healthcare companies are reaching out to individuals at remote places with limited mobility. It helps to provide them the much-needed care they have been deprived of for years.
3. Rising Importance and Adoption of Digital Health Coaching
Delivering personalized, insight-driven programs and wellness solutions to help individuals better focus on their health and well-being, digital health coaching has come a long way. It’s not only individuals who are embracing digital health coaching.
Even companies are embracing health coaching. They are recognizing the strategic business advantage they have with a physically and emotionally healthy workforce. With employee health care costs skyrocketing, many employers are feeling the pinch. In addition to low productivity, many are experiencing higher rates of absenteeism and a decline in organizational morale.
To solve this problem, they are turning to health solutions like digital coaching. These not only improve the health of their employees but also positively affect their total business environment. Digital coaching helps to create personalized interactions with the use of intelligent technologies, behavioral science models and theories.
Through digital coaching, new-age players are allowing people to follow their own fitness and overall well-being regimes under the guidance of a virtual trainer. The fact that it is low cost and can be deployed across the population is further fuelling its adoption among organizations and individuals.
4. Digital Wellness Solutions for Holistic Healthcare
Today people realize the essence of mental, emotional, and psychological well-being. This goes beyond physical workouts. The definition of wellness has expanded manifold, more so since the pandemic. Today it includes healthy eating, good sleep, striking a balance between work and life, and being mindful, among others.
With an increasing number of people taking a holistic approach to wellness, there has been a surge in meditation and mindfulness apps. These apps provide an enjoyable experience with readily-available and potentially life-changing solutions which otherwise are difficult to access.
Also, more and more people are looking for online offerings of different workouts such as Zumba and yoga. This is driving players in the wellness segment to embrace digitization and offer these workout sessions in real-time.
Benefits of Digitization for the Industry:
For the industry, digitization entails multiple benefits such as:
- Personalization: An overwhelming majority of people are willing to trade privacy for personalization particularly in Brazil and China. This has allowed enterprises to hyper target consumers with personalized products and offerings.
- Faster service delivery and greater customer engagement: Due to COVID-19, the shift to digital channels has happened at a rapid pace. Some product categories like food, skincare may still be sold through traditional brick and mortar stores, wearable’s categories have moved to complete online models. Hence, companies are creating omni channel digital offerings for wellness solutions to engage with customers.
- Blurring category lines: Consumers nowadays look for wellness solutions across multiple channels and categories. They don’t want a single brand for all wellness related needs. Companies are now building complementary solutions to their core business offerings.
- Higher Operational efficiency
Digital tech will play an important role in helping people stay fit and healthy not just today but also in a hybrid, post-pandemic future.
A tech-savvy population coupled with growing awareness for one’s well-being will further tilt the scales towards digitization for wellness players. It’s high time for them to be digital-ready to increase their clientele and enhance revenues.
Like other businesses, if you too are looking for wellness solutions Mindfire Solutions can be your partner of choice. We have a team of highly skilled and certified software professionals, who have developed many custom solutions for our global clients over the years.
Here are a few interesting projects we have done. Click to know more: