Article | August 28, 2020

3 Trends Driving Growth of Health and Fitness Technologies

Rachel Gomelsky

The COVID-19 health crisis has brought to the forefront the importance and versatility of the digital health sector, accelerating the need for remote health solutions and devices to help consumers stay healthy and fit at home.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® U.S. Consumer Technology One-Year Industry Forecast  finds that shipments of health and fitness technologies, such as smartwatches, fitness activity trackers and connected health monitoring devices, are projected to rise to 58 million units in 2020, up 4% compared to the previous year and reaching $8.4 billion in revenue.

CTA’s new, in-depth sector report, Industry Sector Forecast: Health and Fitness 2019‐2024, takes a closer look at the key trends that will contribute to this segment’s growth over the next five years. Here are three of the trends shaping the digital health world and some CTA members showing these trends in action.

Industry Addresses Chronic Conditions

According to the American Diabetes Association, 34.2 million Americans have diabetes, and the American Heart Association estimates that more than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure. Technology can play an important part in helping people with these and other chronic conditions to monitor their health and stay on track with medications and health goals.

  • Livongo uses smart, connected devices, personalized digital guidance and 24/7 access to health professionals to make it easier for people with chronic conditions to stay healthier. Their platform addresses multiple conditions, including diabetes, hypertension and behavioral health.
  • Tackling life-threatening illnesses and chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, AbbVie develops new approaches to addressing today’s health issues by consistently developing innovative new medicines and increasing access to on-market products.
  • The flagship product from Soovu Labs Inc., Soovu Wearable Pain Relief, provides drug-free chronic pain relief via heat pulsing technology combined with digital coaching.

Expanding Applications

Consumer health and fitness technology is a growing sector with venture capital investments driving research and development in a variety of areas, such as sports tech. This growing segment, accelerating due to social distancing and current limitations in sports activities, helps athletes improve their skills and performance.

  • Developed in collaboration with coaches and soccer players from around the world, InsideCoach™ uses motion detection and analysis technology to provide real-time coaching cues, statistics, challenges and encouragements tailored to improve player engagement, agility and overall performance.
  • Targeted toward those with an active lifestyle, Intake Breathing is an innovative nasal strip that helps users experience full, deep breathing. This helps athletes boost stamina and endurance, sharpen focus, and recharge and recover.
  • MIERON VR works to activate the brain in new ways, using sensory input mechanisms and visuospatial elements of virtual reality to develop new skills, increase brain fitness and enhance performance through exercise.

Going Beyond Devices

Manufacturers are working together with health care providers to offer services that connect consumers and health care professionals to facilitate consultations and share health data.

  • Kinsa Health is working to stop the spread of contagious illness through early detection and early response. The company’s smart thermometers and data visualizations help individuals access care early, help communities respond to curb illness, and tracks and predicts the spread of illness across the U.S. in real time.
  • RapidSOS provides life-saving data from millions of connected devices directly to 9-1-1 and first responders in an emergency — providing faster, more effective responses for more than 150 million emergencies annually.
  • Validic’s COVID-19 Home Monitoring tracks body temperature, breathing difficulties, cough frequency and oxygen saturation, providing real-time analysis and escalation of critical health data to care management teams, public health officials and human resource administrators as needed.

“CTA members are at the forefront of great innovation in health. These companies are developing innovative health and wellness tools and services that are critical as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and are serving populations most in need,” said René Quashie, vice president of digital health, CTA. “This is just a small sample of the kinds of technology and services being developed by member companies. As technology and innovation continue to play an increasingly significant role in health care, these companies are the future.”

For more information about growth drivers, consumer behavior and technologies shaping the future of key industry sectors — including health and fitness, computing, mobile and wireless and smart home — access CTA's Five Year Sector reports. 

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