May 30, 2020

How is tech changing our approach to wellness?

There is an old cliché about change being the only constant. Like all the best clichés, it’s based on a truth that is inescapable, and in this age of technological innovation, it is more obvious than ever. Tech is the ultimate disruptor, changing our entire approach to established aspects of our day to day lives.

First, we had FinTech, then came FoodTech, with InsurTech hot on its heels. The latest compound word to enter our vocabularies is WellTech, and it is a market worth an estimated $4.2 trillion. WellTech is about more than helping healthcare professionals to make better diagnoses or perform surgical procedures more accurately, although it certainly encompasses these things.

Data analytics and wellness

On a more fundamental level, it is changing the way we understand wellness. Traditionally, being well has been defined as the absence of illness or injury. Yet intuitively, we know there must be more to it than that. To take wellness to the next level, we must understand it. To do that, we demand information, and to get information, we need data and a way to process it.

Big data analytics can be applied to more than business processes or marketing campaigns. Our bodies produce vast amounts of data that wellness apps are becoming increasingly efficient at harnessing and interpreting. The next generation of wearable tech will go far beyond Fitbits, using cutting edge innovations like digital tattoos.

anatomy, biology, brain

Keeping things natural

As our understanding of wellness improves, we come to appreciate that long-ago generations have been smarter than those who followed them in the 20th century. Gradually, we are seeing people rejecting pharmaceutical medicine in favor of natural remedies. The difference is that in the 21st century, there is technology to lend a hand.

Take CBD as an example. It is something of a golden child in the world of complementary and herbal medicine at the moment and has a range of health benefits. It is easy enough to buy CBD and edibles online in these more tolerant times, but the problem has always been the efficiency of delivery. With traditional edibles, most of the CBD goes straight down the toilet when nature calls. However, research institutions like Laraxia have been working on patented technologies that improve delivery by almost 500 percent.

Wellness in the age of experience

With technological change, there is invariably a push or a pull effect. Either new capability is invented and it forces us to change the way we approach something (push), or our circumstances change and we must find new methodologies that can meet this new reality (pull).

In WellTech, there is a tantalizing mixture of the two. Tech innovation does not have to look hard for a problem to solve, as the smartphone generation has a whole new mindset about wellness. For them, it is tied in with the overall ethos that success is not about acquiring bigger and better things but about experiencing life.

Suddenly, wellness is more important to both understand and achieve than getting a car or a mortgage. It creates a push and pull working in perfect harmony, and will continue to take WellTech in exciting new directions over the coming years.

About the author 

Imran Uddin

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