Technology has become an indispensable part of our lives today. When we talk about tech today, the gizmo world isn’t just limited to Play Stations, ear pods and visually grand games. The previous pandemic-stricken year has been proof of the indefinite power that technology has. With the entire world hitting the ultimate note of paranoia, 2020 has also shown the need for technology to invade the healthcare and fitness world.
The health and fitness industry has incorporated technology to augment itself beyond ordinary means and meet consumer demands in innovative ways. From getting visiting doctors virtually to ordering medicines online to seeking nursing assignment help – IoT and technology became an omnipotent savior in these times of need. Following in the footsteps closely of the previous year is 2021 in its pursuit to bridge the gap and meet the demands to make the entire process more seamless.
So, what awaits us in the healthcare and fitness realm in 2021?
2020 has been quite the year for the health and fitness sector, ushering in the disruptive wave of technology. We have seen it all - wearable tracking gadgets, AR-enabled workout mirrors and more. If the statistics are right, 2021 will witness some ergonomic health and fitness techs that will change how we live and care for ourselves.
In what follows, you will find insights on some of the most groundbreaking tech trends that will take the health sector by storm in 2021.
7 Tech Trends That Will Rule the Health & Fitness Sector in 2021
Worth more than $94 billion in 2020, the health and fitness industry is witnessing an unprecedented boom, thus making way for tech innovations. It’s 2021 already, and these tech trends are still raging on.
A series of smart wearable tech
We are already aware of brands like Fitbit, Apple Watches, and Atlas Wrist Bands that have changed the very face of fitness. 2021 will leave behind the storyline of smart bands and watches that we have been familiar with until now and revolutionise the world of fitness wearables beyond tracking health metrics. 2021 is all set to usher in fitness watches that can double up as body sensors and monitor physiological parameters and study symptoms. These wearables will monitor temperature, pulse, and oxygen level – all the three factors to detect the presence of the COVID virus in our bodies. So, you would no longer need thermometers or pulse meter.
The advanced bands will also monitor muscle motions, heart rate, and brain activity. Bottom line: the wristband will be able to remind you about your water intake and advice you to take a walk. Another notable aspect of the wearable techs is how they can be seamlessly connected with smart devices and other fitness applications. This will help you summarise all the detailed analytics from one source.
AI-enabled yoga mats
The realm of AI has been one of the most potent tech trends in the last few years. And in 2021, the healthcare and fitness industry is all set to implement AI in several aspects. One such brainchild of AI will be AI-powered yoga mats, the trending rage amongst most fitness geeks.
The brand YogiFi (which had started as a Kickstarter campaign) became a significant fitness tech utility that uses AI to offer customised fitness programs to users as per their goals and strengths. The uber-cool yoga mat comes equipped with pressure sensors. These sensors can work in unison with a host of fitness apps and help users correct their corporal postures via step-by-step instructions. Talks are that this year will welcome several AI-driven yoga mats that will also have in-built projectors and aromatic dispensers, which will create a soothing ambience fit for doing yoga.
On-call care teams via mobile technology
Since the pandemic has accelerated the need for digital adoption, the healthcare sector will implement mobile technology more into the system. 2021 will welcome several tech utilities that will streamline cumbersome processes, like connecting patients and providers to improve overall health. One such software to hit the market is Viz.ai that will use AI for medical imaging. As a result, this will reduce the time taken to treat patients who suffer cardiac and cerebral attacks.
Technology will also make it possible for clinicians to transform mobile phones to perform clinical actions virtually. Inevitably, this will help clinical teams treat patients faster and disseminate the strain on staff.
Mainstream use of virtual and augmented reality in treatment
As per a study of 2020, the AR/VR market in the healthcare industry is expected to multiply 15X and churn near about $20 billion by the end of this year. In 2021, we will see an accelerated use of AR and VR in patient treatment, especially in treating older patients. These tech utilities will increase the efficacy of such treatments and expand the scale of offering services remotely.
Furthermore, we and healthcare establishments will be able to cut down on both the stress of visiting hospitals and the ensuing cost. Most importantly, AR and VR will be able to study mental health and chronic pain, both areas that involve hefty medical expenditure. In this regard, applications worth mentioning are Oxford VR to map symptoms of mental illnesses and Karuna Labs to monitor chronic pain.
Digital solutions to treat chronic and complex diseases
2020 introduced us to the necessity and possibilities for digital health. As we begin to unravel 2021, our focus will move to digital health options for long-term sustainability. This year, the healthcare sector will introduce alternatives to integrate digitalisation into the world of increased home care and diagnostics, aggressive chronic and complex disease management and realigned incentives with less in-person visits.
For example, this year will see an upsurge in mental health services that are demographically categorised for patient populations like adolescents, young adults, seniors, males, females, etc. Since the pandemic has shown us the need for clinics beyond the four walls of traditional clinics, technology will also break the barrier, making cancer care and chronic disease management more effortless.
Workout mirrors with augmented reality
The pandemic has certainly taught us the importance of fitness and healthy lifestyles. 2021 will help us take our fitness goals a step ahead by integrating advanced displaying technology with our workouts. We can expect touchscreens, LEDs, and other types of surface displays in the healthcare & fitness industry. One such prototype that is all set to invade the market is the Mirror Virtual Trainer. This fantastic product can replace regular gym mirrors with an interactive display screen to act as your personal trainer. So, the chances of doing the squats wrong and hurting your hamstring will soon be a thing of the past.
The utility comes with microphones, embedded cameras, and sensors that can relay data to online trainers, thus helping you maintain social distancing. You will also be able to link up the AR mirror with other fitness monitoring applications and even Spotify for the perfect workout experience.
Smart Fitness Equipment
While smart workout and fitness equipment are no surprise today, this year will take things several notches higher. Here is a look into some of the fitness tech utilities for 2021.
• You can now row down the most meandering of creeks and brave the wave of a bustling river with the Hydrow Rower. The fantastic application lets you live-stream workouts, with its HD touch screen and front-facing speakers offering an immersive experience.
• Fitness bikes like Peloton Bikes will offer interactive screen and smart features that you can use to access classes, participate in live workout sessions, and integrate with wearable techs.
• Advanced digital treadmills like NordicTrack Treadmills will turn your brisk walks and jogging sessions more fun. Such treadmills will offer speed manipulation and automatic inclination based on the vitals tracked by the fitness gears and apps you use.
If all things fall in line, 2021 will be the biggest year in the healthcare and fitness sector technologically. While the costs may be on the higher end this year, the expenses will go down once the technological wonders become mainstream.
Let us hope that 2021 becomes the harbinger of health and alters your life for the better. Stay safe and take care.