Digital health is no longer a futuristic concept. Each year, users become more receptive to digital innovations that meet their needs and wants faster and more precisely. In 2023, we expect to see digital health and nutrition accelerate at an unprecedented pace and here’s why:
- 85% of American adults own a smartphone.
- One out of three smartphone owners use it to monitor their health and fitness.
- Research shows that 58% of Americans are comfortable with virtual consultations replacing in-person visits because they say it is more convenient, cost-efficient, and allows for long-distance care.
- Daily adherence to medication protocols is up to 38% higher for patients who get smartphone notifications. We can also see this apply to food-as-medicine protocols.
- Almost two-thirds of consumers say they are comfortable using emerging technologies, such as robotics, virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence, for preventative care and health monitoring.
- The wearable market is still growing exponentially, with its compound annual growth expected at 14.6% between 2023 to 2030, reaching $186 billion.
Digital trend 1: the rise of AI in healthcare
Artificial intelligence is already starting to revolutionize healthcare, potentially transforming everything from diagnosis and treatment to preventative care and disease management. Here are some of the ways AI is being used in healthcare today.
AI is used to develop new diagnostic tools and techniques, including automated medical image analysis and “virtual assistants” that can help interpret symptoms and recommend treatment options.
AI can personalize treatment plans, identify drug interactions, and even deliver treatments directly to patients (such as through “smart” pills that release medication only when they reach the correct location in the body).
AI is used to help manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. This includes developing personalized care plans, providing real-time patient progress feedback, and identifying early warning signs of deterioration.
AI can identify disease risk factors, for example, by analyzing a person’s genome or data from wearable devices. AI can also be used to develop new vaccines and therapies.
Digital trend 2: telehealth and telewellness
The global telehealth market is expected to reach $175.8 billion by 2025. Several factors, including the increasing adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices, the rising prevalence of chronic diseases across the developed world, and the growing awareness of the benefits of telehealth are driving this growth.
Telehealth is not only for sick care, though. Staying well – physically, emotionally, and spiritually – is integral to a quality life. That is where its subset – telewellnes – comes in. It includes a myriad of digitally-delivered services, from personalized nutrition programs, to online fitness classes, virtual meditation and mindfulness apps, sleep quality management, and more.
Digital trend 3: personalized nutrition
We are passionate about personalized nutrition at Suggestic, and we are glad to see the industry catching up.
It is becoming common knowledge that what we eat directly affects how we feel and perform. Of course, every body is different, and aside from the overarching rules of eat fewer processed foods, drink water, and move your body, nutritional advice should not be generalized.
With the collision of big data, artificial intelligence, and individual data from newly available sources (such as wearables with biosensors, continuous glucose monitors, mail-in tests etc.), digital services can consult users on what kind of meal plan or eating habits will best support their health.
Digital trend 4: at-home laboratories
Getting to know one’s body has never been this easy. From at-home health tests (e.g. through blood with SiPhox Health, stool with Viome, saliva with 23andMe) to wearables with biosensors (e.g. Apple and Samsung Galaxy Watch, Oura, Whoop) and CGMs (e.g. Levels or Nutrisense), consumers are able to collect their own biomarker data and vital signs, information they may have previously only received at an annual physical.
The common thread in these trends is personalization. Taking advantage of emerging technologies to personalize products and services will differentiate the smart digital health startup in the saturated health and nutrition market in 2023.