The pandemic has made us all much more aware of how we are feeling — and companies and organizations, especially in health and wellness industries, can match the moment with expertise and innovation.
For evidence, just look at the shift in professional sports sponsorships. For example, pressure sensor technology Hyperice Hypervolt Plus Percussion ramped up high profile sponsorships with the addition of athletes like LeBron James, Naomi Osaka, Blake Griffin, Steph Curry, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, and Colleen Quigley.
It’s not just consumers looking for solutions through digital tools and data, it’s also employers. A Wellable report data shared that in the new year employers are investing most in mental health (88%), telemedicine (87%), stress management/resilience (81%), mindfulness and meditation (69%), and COVID-19 risk intake/wellness passport (63%) programs. “It is clear that companies are extremely focused on and dedicated to supporting mental well-being. These programs have been growing in popularity in recent years, and the unique challenges created by COVID-19 have only accelerated the demand for mental health solutions.”
Here’s a look at three wellness categories that will transform the digital, social, and personal marketplace in 2021:
Metabolic Health and Its Impact on Immunity
Metabolism is a chemical process that is in charge of converting food into energy to run cellular processes and fuel the body, as well as eliminate waste. As we learn more about metabolic health, details are emerging around how to shift dietary habits to enhance cognition, systems, and immunity. Doctors have identified obesity and chronic metabolic disease (e.g., type 2 diabetes) as comorbidities that correlated with more Covid-related hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths.
“With COVID-19, we have not just been fighting a communicable disease alone but also a growing backdrop of non-communicable diseases (NCDs; such as diabetes and obesity) that have needlessly raised the death toll. In the aftermath of this pandemic, with the possibility of a global recession, mass unemployment, and a financial deficit that could impact the world for decades, it is perhaps naïve to think that additional resources will be available to improve metabolic health and reduce the burden of NCDs. But that is exactly what needs to happen,” reported The Lancet.
Knowledge of metabolic wellness and its ripple effects on immunity and wellness will play a part in addressing a post-pandemic world.
Micro-Tracking and Tech Wearables
Tiny tech trackers and comfy wearables have gone mainstream, becoming more accessible and affordable with a wide range of new devices with more options on the way. This trend goes hand-in-hand with improving metabolic health and activity levels. Tech wearables offer an optimization factor – giving data-rich feedback to the wearer about individualized statistics including resting heart rate, heart rate variability, sleep quality and latency, and more. In addition, health technology is being used to anticipate and improve athletic performances, balancing each day’s rest and recovery with optimal performance-output.
Mental Health and Digital Mental Wellness
Virtual doctors have trended way up in the past year. This new behavior pattern also included mental wellness as needs skyrocketed and people experienced greater anxiety and other health crises. New apps and services are popping up as timely resources and conversations for mental health. “The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing against many of the structural barriers that had previously slowed health system investment in integrated virtual health applications, including funding mechanisms, consumer adoption, and provider adoption. Healthcare stakeholders may want to create additional buy-in for virtual health platforms in an effort to boost the quality of care and increase efficiency. While providers are juggling a host of challenges around COVID-19 and a ‘return’ to normal operations, virtual health may provide a useful framework for creating the next normal,” McKinsey research shared.
In the past year, wellness took great leaps in becoming more seamless and accessible. Digital innovation is enabling the inner transformation and 2021 is the year to get to know yourself even better.
All opinions & expressions are solely those of the author and not those of any other individual, institution or business.