The Future of Preventative Health and Mindfulness Technology

Anke Neustadt

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In January 2021 the number of active internet users worldwide was estimated to be over 4.66 billion and there are no signs that this process will ever let up.

As a CEO of a healthcare company, I noticed that people are more and more interested in their health. Over half of Europe’s youth, age 15–24, regularly exercise or participate in sports. Among millennials (18–36), there is a common belief that they “could be eating better”, as 79% of respondents feel.

In prevention and mindfulness technology there are three foundations on which humanity’s relationship with physical or mental health will rest. Here are my expectations on the main trends…

Children

Healthcare is increasingly employing an approach of “easier to avoid harm than treat the consequences”. This is what fuels the demand of parents for tools that will draw their children into a better lifestyle, using gamified ways of forming a good relationship with food, exercise and life in general.

We at BetterMe are receiving hundreds of requests to add together with adults’ gamified meal plans for children.  

According to studies, on average a child, age 8 to 10 years, spends around 8 hours a day with electronic gadgets. Modern technology has become a key tool for raising children, including ensuring ideal habits.
Related: The 4 hormones that promote good mood and happiness

Mindfulness

In 2020 worldwide downloads of health and fitness apps grew by 30% over 2019. Also growing, at a rate of 25%, was the total time spent on these apps.

Practicing mindfulness has been proven to be effective and not only works on a preventative level – improving one’s sleep, lowering the harmful impact stress has on our bodies – but also deals with health problems we might already have, like, aches, pains or irritable bowel syndrome.

According to a recent  report, the global market for meditation and mindfulness apps will reach $6,478.5 million. Conscious dietary choices, exercise and leisure means putting self-care under the flag of mindfulness.
Related: Why the Future of Healthcare Innovation Lies in Community

Telehealth

People’s relationship communication with doctors has been moving online and there are definite advantages to this. Smartphones help people promptly learn the results of tests, get recommendations from doctors, book appointments and oral health through virtual dental visits.

Telehealth utilization has stabilized at levels 38X higher than before the pandemic. Moreover, the total venture capital investment into the digital health space in the first half of 2021 totaled $14.7 billion, which is more than all the investment in 2020 ($14.6 billion) and nearly twice the investment in 2019 ($7.7 billion) due to the report.  

There is a demand for complex platforms that will allow patients to efficiently get prescriptions online and doctors having access to patient’s health.

Gadgetization

To avoid risks and maximally improve their quality of life, people will be increasingly using applications and wrist devices. Syncing a mobile app with an account allows a people and their physicians to track indicators like temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, balanced diets, hydration, effect of exercise, hormonal changes and the regularity of menstrual cycles.

Artificial Intelligence can be brought in to track a person’s health indicators and provide personalized recommendations for diet and exercise. AI in the market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41.8% from 2021 to 2028. 

Psychology

According to WHO’s definition, “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”. It, therefore, makes sense that psychological techniques are increasingly used, as one aspect of health stands in harmony with the others.

Users can achieve their goals more effectively when healthcare companies use the full knowledge of the mind and apply it in practice. According to a recent survey conducted on behalf of Kaiser Permanente, 48% of those polled are actively practicing mental-health self-care while seeking ways to positively cope with emotional distress related to anxiety or depression.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, the most proven of all, offers a four-stage method for setting goals and achieving them. This might sound like something quite simple and obvious, but often a path made up of small steps isn’t something we think about. Achieving small victories lets people maintain their motivation and psychologically serves to make a larger goal more attainable. If a mobile app, such as BetterMe: Health Coaching, keeps track of the small victories of its users, whether it be 10,000 steps per day or a week without adding sugar to food, those users have a significantly greater chance of achieving their ultimate goals.

By taking advantage of all the possibilities in our world today, we can avoid treating the consequences and predict health problems before they arise. As a result, we can all learn to lead better lives, both physically and mentally. 
Related: 4 Reasons Why You Should Enter the Health and Wellness Industry Now

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/400940

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