When you consider how large personal computers were just 20 years ago, you can begin to appreciate just how impressive it is that we’ve developed even better computer technology today that’s capable of fitting on our wrist.
Health trackers today are becoming more and more popular yet, they still seem to fall short of what we all hope. The Apple Watch was hyped but overall, sales haven’t been what many thought they would be. Other companies like JawBone that started out in the wearables industry have since left.
The industry has proven to be fiercely competitive and it only seems to be heating up. So, who will win the race? What will it look like? To learn more, we spoke with industry leaders and asked the question:
What’s the future of health trackers?
Here’s what we know now…
Frederik Hermann, Head of Marketing & Sales at Huami
“We have reached an initial consolidation of the wearables market that is currently dominated by wrist-worn activity trackers and smartwatches. The future will contain more seamless and ubiquitous integrations of sensors in our everyday life as well as more niche implementations. Health trackers will go far beyond general step tracking with medical applications of recognizing signs of potential health issues early on, be used by physicians for monitoring and preventative care. With the continuous miniaturization of sensors and components, smart functions can be implemented in clothing, fabrics, jewelry, glasses and more and will likely include contactless payments, transit ticketing systems and keyless entry to buildings and vehicles. In sports, sensors in equipment and apparel will assist with performance improvement and injury prevention. The tracker will become a more universal personal assistant, health coach and tool to make our lives easier, especially with further integrations in IoT and proximity beacons.”
Davide Vigano, CEO & Co-founder of Sensoria Inc.
“Companies producing IoT enabling technology that can be applied to more than one device will strive. For example, fitness and biometric data is not limited to wrist-worn monitors anymore. Smart garments and smart footwear offering higher reliability and more in depth capabilities are now on the market. The future will favor these types of transparent, comfortable, wearable computing breakthroughs – enabling health and fitness technology in new ways.”
Waqaas Al-Siddiq, CEO & Founder of Biotricity Inc.
“There are a number of potential futures for health trackers 10 to 15 years from now. I believe one key aspect that will drive the change is that health trackers will become a small component within larger healthcare and monitoring solution. I believe today’s health trackers will end up becoming tattoos or implantables that will focus on all aspects of motion. Today’s trackers are limited to wrist or neck worn devices and are accordingly unable to pick up other nuances in motion. The future tattoo or implantable trackers will be able to track every aspect of motion. This will allow intervention from both preventative and critical scenarios. Take for example an individual whose gait changes due to a fall which caused back pain. A 360 view of motion would be able to connect the fall to the gait change and make a recommendation to see a chiropractor.”
Laila Zemrani, Co-founder & CEO of Fitnescity
“Health and wellness data —generated in many formats and from various sources— hold enormous promise for creating more effective medical and lifestyle interventions. Data from an individual’s health and wellness trackers will be increasingly used in the future to make individualized recommendations.
While it is still overly complicated for a patient or a consumer today to collect the data and make sense of it, things will likely be very different over the next 10 years: Data will be collected seamlessly. Consumers will not need to wear any devices. For instance, the data will be collected through devices installed at home, in the car or in clothes. Also, these advancements will be coupled with advanced software capabilities that deliver real-time clinically-proven insights, rather than data.”
Dr. Anthony Warren, Founder ,CEO of Breathesimple.com
“Current trackers provide data on fitness, sleep patterns etc. They do not close the loop to provide personalized training and track its success or otherwise. In the future sensors will be able to reliably access more physiological functions including SpO2, PCO2, tracheal and lung sounds, etc. These data will be able to more accurately access the users’ health and fitness and provide specific training support to get to prescribed targets. Training may invoke new methods such as hypnotherapy, applying neuroplastic based behavioral techniques etc… A more holistic approach towards targets. Trackers such as Dash by Bragi will be common, combining both entertainment and wellness/fitness functions while delivering personalized training using streamed voice support. Trackers will behave ‘like your personal trainer sitting on your shoulder’ telling you what to do while measuring the results.”