Wearables Giving New Dimension To Fitness Biz

by Priyanka Pugaokar    Apr 14, 2016


The healthcare and fitness industry is heavily banking on wearable technologies to remain competitive. Smartwatches and fitness bands are in fact helping people to manage their health in a smarter way, giving a boost to the overall wearable market. 

According to market estimates, the total retail market for fitness category is worth US$ 0.76 billion and growing at 16-18 percent and is expected to cross US$ 1.18 billion by 2017. According to the report of MarketsandMarkets, the Global Healthcare IT Market is valued at USD 228.8 billion in 2020 over the forecast period of 2015 to 2020. Here, tech enabled fitness tools come in a big way. 

This is not only a global trend, but is also quite visible in India. Fitness is the major concern among Indians, especially among the professionals who could hardly take out time for physical exercise. Therefore, smart people need solutions that are time saving as well as cost effective.  Going beyond the traditional trade mill culture, fitness centers today offer technology driven fitness solutions to their customers.

Read more: Global Wearables Shipments To Surge 38% In 2016: IDC

Wearable Tech In Fitness Biz

Technology has been a part of fitness and health care business for years. Fitness gadgets like pedometers, accelerometers, heart rate monitors, interactive video games are already popular among people for decades. However, wearable devices such as smart bands and digital tools are gaining momentum in the industry. Consumer intention to lead a healthy life is spearheading the adoption of wearable. According to a recent global survey by Accenture, about 8 percent people in the world own wearable fitness monitors and 6 percent own a wearable health monitor.

Even though adoption of digital health technologies like online health reviews is higher than that of wearable, usage of these devices is expected to grow in double digits as fitness companies identify more use cases that deliver positive results. Today, the market is flooded with a number of fitness gadgets and apps aiming to encourage physical activities among people. BodySpace, FirstRun, Nike+ Fuel Band, Core 2 from Body Media, Fit Bit Flex, Jawbone UP, Withings Smart Body Analyzer, Polar FT 2 Heart Rate Monitor etc. Are some of the cool fitness gadgets. Domestic players like Micromax has also entered in the fitness industry with fitness band YuFit and HealthYu.

Read more: 5 Reasons Wearables Will Get Bigger In 2016

Many fitness centers and wellness providers offer smart wristbands and other fitness monitors at affordable prices or even for free. This will further accelerate growth of wearable technology worldwide.

Apps Keeping Track On Health

Mobile apps also help people to keep a track on their health. Kitchen Stories, Glow, Strava, First Run, GetActive, GOQii, MindShift are some of the popular apps which helps people to stick with their diet plan and workout routine. Apps such as Healthify me, MyHealthSaverz, Practo and Portea are becoming more and more relevant tracking the trend in the market.

Apart from fitness devices, mHealth solutions are also quite popular in the industry. According to the study of MarketsandMarkets, the global mHealth solutions market is poised to reach USD 59.15 Billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 33.4 percent during the forecast period. Growth in this market is mainly attributed to the increasing penetration of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile platforms and expected to grow further with the technology becoming accessible to people. There are a number of online communities such as Spark People, LFconnect etc., which helps people to follow their fitness routine seriously.

Read more: 7 Technologies Revolutionizing Healthcare

Are Fitness Gadgets Serving Moto?

The question is largely subjective and depends on the usage of the technology. Significantly, price and availability are the key factors responsible for the adoption of new age tech solutions. However, E Commerce marketplaces, smartphone growth and increasing access to internet are creating a lot of buzz about fitness devices among health conscious people. Therefore, it would not wrong to state that the technology has now become a part of our body.