Will digital health and wellness take centre stage in 2024 and beyond?
The importance of this market was clear to see at this year's IFA trade show, where of the 292 start-ups in the IFA Next zone, more than 30 were involved in the digital health and wellness sector in some way - and many with a focus on users taking control of their medical health, nutrition or recovery.
Highlights included Aurora Life Science, with Nutrio: the world's first fully automated food recognition and nutrition monitoring platform, which harnesses the power of AI, and CookingPal - an IoT solution company dedicated to designing kitchens of the future, with the mission to empower home cooks with cutting-edge technology and innovate the way people cook and eat at home.
There were products designed to promote better sleep from BR Lab, as well as solutions to make care for the elderly and life for parents easier. Towards the more medical end of the digital health space, there was a product from Eio which gives allergy and contact details to first aid responders and a product called Intelligent Pill Box which reminds users to take their medication. Along a similar vein, German company Caera showcased an emergency wristband with fall detection to help relatives know their loved ones are safe.
In addition to these start-ups, there were more established brands showing their latest high tech digital fitness and wearable tech, including Fitbit and TicWatch, as well as massagers from Aukey.
The market researcher added that the average revenue per user (ARPU) is anticipated to be $78.56 (€72.02), and that when comparing global revenue, China is expected to generate the highest amount, with $25,340.00m (€23,231.77m) in 2023.
Where smartwatches are concerned, Benzinga said that as of 2023, the global market for stood at about $37.7bn (€34.5bn) . Over the coming years, this market is expected to experience substantial growth. Specifically, from 2024 to 2032, it's projected to expand at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.6%.
This robust growth trajectory suggests that by the year 2032, the smartwatch market is anticipated to reach a valuation close to $89.9bn (€82.4bn).
In terms of drivers, Statista said that, worldwide, the demand for digital fitness and well-being solutions has surged, with countries like the United States and China leading the way in adopting innovative technologies for health and wellness. Bazinga said the growth in smartwatches is indicative of the increasing popularity and technological advancements in smartwatches, reflecting their rising adoption worldwide.
Meanwhile, FMI noted that the rising awareness of digital health benefits was the primary driver behind the growing popularity. It added that the deep penetration of electronic gadgets and devices and advancing technology coupled with the rising acceptance of telemedicine and telehealth services will fuel the growth of the digital health market during the forecast period.
The prospects for the digital health market are expected to improve as a result of the healthcare industry’s fast digitalisation. Big Data and other cutting-edge technology tools are being used more frequently, which is positive for the target market. The medical community, as well as public and private organisations, are rapidly adopting telemedicine and telehealth services. The digital health market will most certainly benefit as a result of this.
What brings many of these products together is that they are designed in recognition of the growing ageing population - a phenomenon which we are seeing across much of the world, and they also recognise users' desire to take control of their health in a more focused way than ever before. So, while there will be stumbling blocks and hurdles to growth, such as concerns over data security, this market will continue on its trajectory and perhaps even exceed forecasted numbers. It will be interesting to see what brands develop in this sector, and how many start-ups and innovations we will see at IFA 2024.
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