The global wellness industry grew 12.8% in the last two years, from a $3.7 trillion market in 2015 to $4.2 trillion in 2017, according to an in-depth research report, the 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor. This growth is redefining the concept of wellness. We’ve seen the merging of the beauty and wellness spaces, and the wellness industry is moving towards healthcare.
A collaboration between the Global Wellness Institute and the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Switzerland, “Wellness 2030 – The New Technologies of Happiness” investigates how new technologies and techniques of self-optimization will transform the wellness market.
Five technology trends that will shape the future wellness market:
1. Humans and technology converge
Digitalization will enable lifestyles with dramatically more options and will influence our habits, needs, and desires. We are redefining ourselves: what does it mean to be human? We are seeing the rise of a new symbiosis between humans and technology.
2. Biohacking: the shortcut to well-being
Biohackers are a subculture driven by a pioneering spirit. They’re open to crossing disciplinary lines to make things possible; they want to liberate themselves from the limitations of nature, age, and disease. Their credo: everyone is capable of developing their own self-healing and self-optimization powers. Biohacking is already impacting the wellness industry today. Start-up The Third Wave, for instance, aims at improving well-being with the help of LSD micro-dosing.
3. Data selfies
Smartphones have made the self-portrait a dominant form of communication. In the future, metrics on our inner lives will be added to these images of our outward appearances. Wearable tech has been collecting data on everything from our heart rates to the calories we burn—and soon far more data on our emotions and happiness will be captured. This will offer radically new and transparent insights into our total well-being, and will have huge implications for the health and wellness industries.
4. Wellness is social—making people happier and healthier together
In the 21st century, connecting with other people has taken on a new dimension: complex collaborations are now a part of our everyday lives. In the future, algorithms could take on the work of choosing the right partner or the perfect mindfulness coach. What’s more, artificial intelligence inside a new generation of smart assistants will increase the quality of the outcome.
5. Biofeedback replaces surveys and “likes”
The technology for measuring emotions has made great strides. Apps are already attempting to track behavioral patterns and emotions. Which apps does this person use most frequently? How long does she sleep? This panoply of smartphone data will increasingly offer up very precise indications of a user’s mental and physical health.
These trends’ implications for the future wellness industry:
1. The wellness industry will become an extension of the data economy.
2. Biohackers and Silicon Valley are the new pioneers of wellness.
3. The wellness industry needs to embrace the hacker mindset.
4. In the era of customer ratings, consumer data management will become a key area of expertise.
5. The boundaries between wellness and healthcare are blurring.
Download the full Wellness 2030: The New Techniques of Happiness report.
Photo: Vitali Pavlynshynets via Unsplash