Technology has transformed almost every aspect of human life, from how we socialise, to the entertainment industry, to eating and other living habits. Its revolutionary pace is now disrupting the wellness industry, dawning on a new wave of WellTech fueled by increased demand and awareness of the mental health sector. Hive Life taps into the latest wellness tech frenzy, and explores the trends and implications of emerging technologies on the future of healthcare.
The wellness market is progressing rapidly, and the pandemic has indefinitely triggered major transformations in the sector, alongside other related fields such as healthcare, and personal wellbeing.
The global wellness industry stands at an estimated valuation of US$1.5 trillion, without any doubt making it one of the most disruptive markets today. Individuals’ acceptance and approach towards their whole health and wellness have transformed dramatically, and with numerous lockdowns and pandemic restrictions imposed, it became increasingly important that people reform their ways to maintain their mental and physical wellbeing.
In the modern day, most wellness solutions incorporate digital features and elements, pivoting towards digitalisation technologies in healthcare and wellbeing. The growing health crisis is driving the next wave of wellness technology, presenting opportunities and a wide scope for companies to innovate in the space.
Digital wellness has been around for over a decade now, with concepts such as Fitbit – a wearable fitness device, Moodkit – a mental health app, and many others, empowering the latest holistic health movement.
Amidst rising global health concern, the wellness and health industry has expanded its scope to support different aspects of one’s wellbeing, from fitness and self-care apps, to digitally-enabled therapy, online meditative programmes, and other community building initiatives. Furthermore, the WellTech space is rapidly gaining traction in the investment market, presenting a golden opportunity in the sector to tackle the growing demand and need for such holistic solutions.
In 2019 alone, over US$2.2 billion in investments were reported, and the number only accounted for the top 97 wellness tech startups across the globe.
Why is WellTech the future of wellness?
Public healthcare systems are in crisis mode, and with an increasing number of the global population suffering from stress and other ailments, medical and health-related costs continue to rise in response. This trend has made many re-evaluate their current state-of-being, and has called for the strengthening of our healthcare system and pioneering of new solutions. The rapid adoption of digitally-advanced solutions in the wellness sector has been a game changer for public healthcare as more and more people turn towards digital technology for its connectivity, convenience, and accessibility.
WellTech has paved the way to accessible and affordable healthcare, with a mass of modern wellness concepts and startups rising to fill that gap. Moreover, consumer market demand for wellbeing is greater than ever before, with over 79% of the global population considering wellness a necessity, while 42% rate it as their top priority. The substantial shift in wellbeing priorities has opened doors for innovation and creation in the wellness sector to cater to consumers’ ever-evolving needs in six key areas including health, fitness, nutrition, appearances, sleep, and mindfulness.
This guide explores the current trends of the WellTech market and offers insight into the emerging ecosystem to navigate its impact on different aspects of peoples’ lives.
Mental Health Apps’ Growing Appeal
Mental health is a significant part of overall holistic wellbeing, with direct correlation to one’s emotional and physical selves. Humans’ mental wellbeing has sustained immense pressure, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic, lockdown, and social isolation exposing many to various stress-inducers, as well as separation and solitary-related trauma, and constant loss of interest and ability to function as normal. During the pandemic, the global prevalence of mental health issues, such as stress, anxiety, depression and other ailments, increased by 25%.
Technology has transformed the traditional healthcare landscape, delivering diverse personalised mental health solutions. Digital advancements have enabled the creation and delivery of unique holistic experiences from virtual therapy and online meditation courses, to mental and self-care apps that keep track and care for your overall health and wellness.
Holistic wellness applications are gaining more traction over time, and at the current rate, the global mental health app market is expected to rise above US$10.2 billion by 2027.
Moreover, mental wellness trends in the Asia Pacific region have begun to gain momentum, with a substantial shift observed in Asian consumers’ awareness and approach to their wellbeing. A multitude of startups in Asia have pioneered solutions that cater to growing local demand, and ease the strain on healthcare through affordable, accessible, and integrative mental health care and support.
AmDTx is a meditation app based in Singapore, and its first-in-class clinical wellness solution assists individuals on their mindfulness journey through personalised programmes.
Another notable name in the space, Neurum, is a wellness app incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) technology, fostering healthy and mindful habits through their AI mental assistance.
Read more: 6 Leading Mental Health Apps Enabling Access to Healthcare and Mental Wellbeing in APAC
Integrative Technologies for Holistic Health and Wellbeing
Advancing technologies have laid the foundation for more sophisticated and intricate systems, while streamlining their modes and functions for easy application as well as operation. Personalised technologies, such as AI and data science, are the driving forces behind the future of WellTech, as individuals seek solutions with high adaptability and integration for their all-rounded wellbeing.
At present, the healthcare industry has massively adopted the use of AI. With an annual growth rate of 46.2%, its market valuation is expected to reach US$67.4 billion by 2027, demonstrating the great potential and scope of the wellness sector. One of the primary reasons for its massive growth is due to its quick integrative properties, and ability to personalise solutions and generate real-time data.
WellTech has now become more streamlined for user convenience, and offers an effortless integration into our livelihood, while tracking our progress and evaluating the necessary steps needed for our health and wellness goals. Most wellness startups now deem it essential to incorporate whole-health elements into their products and services, invigorating new limitless WellTech ecosystems.
Pivot Point for Patient-Generated Health Data
WellTech has propelled the digital revolution for patient health data, working in collaboration with integrative technologies such as AI and big data.
Patient-generated health data (PGHD) refers to any pre-existing health-related data recorded or gathered from either the individual themselves or their close family. It is created to provide medical professionals with insight into a patient’s mental and physical wellbeing, saving time and cost on running any unnecessary tests prior to treatment.
From a patient’s medical and disease history, to their blood pressure, glucose levels, and other essential insights, PGHD is pivoting towards digitised-data, and is becoming more widely accepted among healthcare facilities.
Wellness devices such as the Apple Watch, Whoop Band, and other tech solutions incorporate multifaceted elements which enables individuals to generate concurring data on their health and wellbeing, including monitoring heart and breathing rate, blood pressure, and much more. These patient-and provider-oriented technologies work beyond personal scope, and are tailored to cover and cater to an individual’s biological needs, age, and livelihood, while allowing them to retrieve data for medical, healthcare, as well as insurance purposes.
Herbio is an application developed by Japanese FemTech solution provider, Medita. It functions as women’s menstrual and fertility assistant, from tracking menstrual and ovulation cycles to generating detailed basal body temperature graphs. Its sophisticated technologies serve beyond personal tracking purposes, as the data recorded can be used for consultations with healthcare professionals, as well as during reproductive health checkups.
A Well-Connected Healthcare System
The revolution of wellness tech shows great promise in building a well-connected and aligned healthcare ecosystem. This is made possible through the transformative power of AI, big data, medical Internet of Things (IoT), as well as many other emerging technologies driving smart, connected, and decentralised healthcare and wellness solutions. WellTech has essentially transformed the framework of healthcare, prioritising patient data while ensuring a safe, secure, and controlled transfer of confidential information, which has made it rather popular among patients, wellness enthusiasts, and healthcare professionals. The future of WellTech is now.
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