Health and Wellness Trends in 2020
With the onset of 2020 now is a good time for an overview of the trends the Welltech1 team sees gaining traction in the health and wellness space. It is not just the trends we see developing during the next year in this growing vertical, but what’s in store for the next decade. Entrepreneurs working on solutions in this space in Israel view themselves as part of the global wellness community, but our local entrepreneurs do bring a unique perspective to building companies with strong outcome focused problem-solving skills. Below we’ll cover some of the bigger trends happening in wellness tech in the coming year.
Over the past few years the data on the importance of sleep and how it impacts well-being and performance has been well documented. As a turnkey solution to living a better life many companies are creating technologies which help you sleep better with solutions ranging from beds, headbands, to IoT devices. Connected to this trend is Casper, the mattress startup with a billion-dollar valuation which recently filed for an IPO. The success of their IPO could well prove as an example of where the market is headed in this space.
An example of how sleep has become such a large market was the focus on it at the annual Consumer Electronics Show which featured a dedicated pavilion to technologies which aid in getting a good night’s sleep. From a macro perspective, as the stress of navigating the daily complexities of this hyper digitally connected world increases and our sleep suffers, more solutions will be created to solve this pressing health challenge.
The fitness market is not a new market, but one which has increasingly grown over recent years due to awareness of the importance of physical exercise (and proper diet) on longevity and general well-being. If anything, the market has grown as more people globally have access to knowledge and opportunities to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We are optimistic regarding this space and have made investments in companies such as fitV which looks to personalize the way people workout by providing real-time feedback using ML and AI-based solutions with no equipment. fitV is a good example of how technology intersects with fitness in multiple intersections including smartphones, AI, and computer vision.
Centenarians, or people living past 100 years of age are one of the fastest growing demographics on the globe. Many people, especially in places like Israel (where factors such as strong family ties and a meaningful life contribute to longevity) are living well into their golden years. Advances in health care as well as preemptive care have been key trends, and much of age tech is around helping seniors live their best life as they age. This trend falls under a wide swath of technology such as improving in-home care to gamification (memory improvement) to technology which monitors one’s health with sensors.
An example in Israel where this technology could come into play is when the elderly receive home care. With lowering prices and accessibility, technology which in the past would have been used in a hospital is now available for consumer use. People living longer lives are taking health matters into their own hands.
Sexual health tech
While this was a controversial topic at this year’s CES, society in general is adopting an open mind regarding sex tech, particularly women’s sexual health. Silicon Valley is already embracing this trend (though with discretion) with companies such as Hims/Hers. While the optics of “sex toys” maybe too much for some people, the opportunity is where problems need to be solved, and sexual health is a completely normal part of life. This could be just a matter of time more than anything else. An example over the past few years was how big pharma was able to normalize erectile dysfunction medications such as Viagra and Cialis; aside from the media fanfare the sexual health tech industry could quickly get more traction.
AI playing a bigger role in wellness
This is an area where the Israeli wellness ecosystem can excel as entrepreneurs in the country are so strong in artificial intelligence. As AI (and from a health perspective, the data sets afforded) become increasingly relevant in every part of our daily lives, solutions offered by wellness tech will improve.
As venture investors AI plays a part in many investments we make, but in some cases such as the investment we made in MakeSense AI plays a particularly functional role. This startup offers an AI based technology to accurately measure the nutritional value of every meal consumed by the user. Nutrition is one of the pillars of positive well-being so the impact of AI on this area cannot be overstated. For the long-term applications of AI in health one can only imagine, but we could enter a world where our interactive wearables would be able to analyze our bodies’ vitals against massive data sets and predict something like a cancerous tumor before it would even appear.
Millennial consumer habits as well as active people living well into their 80’s and beyond are going to drive these trends in the coming years and decade. From our perspective we are still at the nascent stages of this global market, and Israel’s push into new verticals. 2020 could be the breakout year for health and wellness and the time to join Welltech1 as we look to invest and grow the most dynamic entrepreneurs in the Israeli ecosystem.
Welltech1 invests in and accelerates wellness startups with the goal of increasing viability, seeking additional investment and connecting to global partners immersed in the wellness market. Welltech1 provides startups with the know-how to scale, a dedicated professional team of wellness experts, business advisors, and global partners a gateway to accessing the global $4.5 trillion wellness market. To learn more click here.