Almost a year on from first reports of Covid-19, the health of the world’s population remains headline news. The pandemic has seen to it that our collective health—in equal parts physical, mental and social well-being—has never been so important, or so tested.
While staying healthy is paramount, the business of wellness is met with more suspicion, and it is the industry’s own fault. Wellness has been hijacked by profiteers and marketers that have inundated us with healing crystals, kombucha shots, and vitamin IV drips. In contrast, ‘real’ wellbeing is the process of maintaining health by practicing good exercise, nutrition, sleep and social contact habits, and increasingly wireless technology is helping us achieve it.
According to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), a non-profit organization promoting wellness research and education, despite concerns over privacy, people are progressively using devices to manage their personal wellbeing, including monitoring diets, sleep patterns or emotional health, as well as managing exercise. Consumers are also accepting wellness like never before.
“A profound shift in the way people consume wellness is underway: once a luxury … it’s now being infused into every aspect of daily life,” says Katherine Johnston, Senior Research Fellow, GWI. “And the spend on proactive healthy choices—on wellness—will continue to comprise a greater percentage of massive multi-trillion industries.” Of which, of course, the tech sector is one.
Wearable tech, a technology barely 10 years old, is now huge business. According to consumer data firm Statista, the number of connected wearable devices worldwide more than doubled in the three years between 2016 and 2019, increasing from 325 million to 722 million. By 2022, that number is expected to pass one billion.
As demand for personalized wearable wellness has dramatically increased, so to has the sophistication of these devices. Counting steps is all well and good, but people now want solutions that not only monitor their activity levels, but also