Health tech has exploded over the past five years. The level of exploration, innovation and growth has been impressive. The sheer number of startups is mind-boggling and the keenness of investors to back this space is considerable.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The supercharging of health tech has caused a reaction within “traditional” health too. Institutional healthcare operators are now nervously looking over their shoulders at more nimble and customer-centric tech brands trying to figure out how they can adapt to the newly emerging landscapes.
One thing is clear. Things are changing. And, in our favor.
Soon our interactions with providers will be radically different, focused on a more unique, human and convenient approach. And at the heart of this health revolution is personalization, driven by tech.
Please explain personalized care?
Personalized care comprises a number of spokes depending on which way you spin it.
It describes how patients have more control and choice in how their care is planned and delivered. It represents how products and services are bespoke for individual needs, preferences and circumstances. It gathers and analyzes personal data in order to provide highly personalized, tech-based solutions spanning the full gamut of health and wellbeing - from exercise plans to nutrition aids to sleep apps to mental fitness.
Where is the future of health tech going?
There are some super-exciting ideas floating around the health tech space in general – and some of the most intriguing ones are to do with personalization. Among the most innovative areas at the moment is data – and in particular, the way data is being used to come up with solutions around preventative care and overall wellness.
Accurately predicting the onset and course of a disease in an individual remains the holy grail of medicine and makes wearable devices capturing continuous biometric data particularly significant right now. Understanding and monitoring disease evolution is ushering in an entirely new era of personalized and real-time medicine.
In addition to detecting disease, real-time data unlocks new levels of personalization when it comes to wellness apps, services and solutions. Apps are fast adapting to implement a series of nudges to take proactive daily actions that underlie more permanent behavioral change, prescribing bespoke schedules and optimizing health and lifestyle cues based on their unique response loops.
Two great examples are:
Nutrino is a self-proclaimed innovator in the field of AI, data analytics, MLOps and cloud computing. It uses tech to provide nutrition-related data, analysis and technology services – such as personalized diet calculations. Nutrino users create and update a daily diary of what they consume, which the system then uses to provide a personalized diet. The data is then matched with the user’s goals – such as weight-loss or muscle gain – to highlight the best foods according to those goals. (https://www.nutrinohealth.com/)
8fit’s is based on a vision that pre-set fitness programs are seldom suitable to achieve results and, instead, the highest level of customization is essential for any fitness or health journey to be successful.
The app’s USP is that it focuses on whole-body health through a high level of personalization. From varied, bespoke workouts to healthy and personalized meals and individual sleep schedules, 8fit is like carrying around a nutritionist, a PT and a sleep specialist around in your pocket, which then help you create customized programs. (https://8fit.com/)
What about big tech?
Personalization is permeating all sectors and some of the innovation we’re witnessing in health and wellness is being derived from elsewhere. It’s always a good idea to watch what big tech brands are doing because they act as wayfinders for the rest of us who operate under more humble budgets and ambition.
Google has been hard at it since 2004, flexing its data mining muscle and partnering with AI and machine learning to develop its personalized Google Ads. And it’s working. Earnings generated from advertising products and services were nearly up to US$62bn US dollars in 2021 alone – and revenue is expected to keep spiking to US$81bn dollars by 2024.
Another behemoth, Amazon, has put its know-how to commercial work by creating ready-made personalization tools, which are now on offer to developers – including an inevitable flowover into the health space.
The “Amazon Personalize” service reflects just how far along the customized journey they are. Amazon Personalize is a fully managed machine learning service that makes it easy for developers to deliver personalized experiences to their users. It enables developers to build applications with the same machine learning (ML) technology used by Amazon.com for real-time personalized recommendations.
With the help of the system, developers can deliver a wide range of experiences, including specific product recommendations, personalized product re-ranking, and customized direct marketing. Pretty much everything we gleefully inhale through Amazon Prime can be deployed through the lens of health and wellness. Think bespoke treatment plans, medicine programs and tailored preventative measures.
Get on the chart
The plethora of health data and wellness metrics we now have at our fingertips presents us with optics on our inner workings and a means to manage them. Through wearables, trackers and tech, we are fast approaching a time where we can accurately detect our regular heart rates, arterial oxygen levels, what body type we are, how our personalities affect our habits and why we are at risk of certain diseases or conditions.
These inputs feed our desire for more personalized health, fitness and wellness services – be it to serve the health challenged or those with disposable incomes and disposable waistlines.
Short story, long - we now expect personalization.
And this is thanks to the obvious likes of Amazon, Uber, Netflix and Spotify as well as other more subtle contributors such as Shutterfly’s application of your beloved photos to a mug, or Snapchat’s Bitmoji - a cartoon-ish avatar of yourself that features in stories, or Target’s shopping analysis that delivers a pregnancy prediction score, or Coca Cola printing names and labels to bottles to drive millennial delight and consumption (which worked amidst squeals in the aisles of 7/11s everywhere when matched with their name).
In the same way 80% of the 1,000 US adults surveyed by Epsilon and GBH Insights, wanted personalization from retailers the same expectation will soon be true for health services too. This means that health operators must respond – and the health tech sector will be the fulcrum in that move.
Are you an executive ready to jump on the purpose-driven health train and lead a team? Are you a future-thinking marketer driven to help write a better future for individuals? Are you driven to drive the tech that will democratize health solutions for the masses?
Reach out to learn about current roles that may just be your match made in health heaven firstname.lastname@example.org