With the NHS overwhelmed by demand during the pandemic and some five million people waiting more than a year for routine treatments, preventative healthcare and health tracking may be more important than ever. While Fitbits, Apple Watches and even just iPhone pedometers have been widely used for some time, many consumers are seeking broader analytics on their health, and in turn the wearables or apps to track health and wellbeing. So what can we expect to see rise in popularity in the coming year?
Greater focus on mental health
The national lockdowns and stress of the pandemic have led to many Brits feeling a decline in their mental health and seeking solutions to help manage stress, depression and other mental health related matters. Mental health care has historically been difficult to access for many too, due to long wait times for referrals and its cost. Many apps and solutions are popping up to help tackle this, with the likes of Headspace and Calm in particular growing in popularity for everyday guided meditation to help manage stress, anxiety, and sleep quality.
With the greater focus on self-care brought on by the pandemic, we expect to continue to see more and more businesses popping up in this space. Other businesses attracting attention include Clementine, a female-focused wellbeing app that helps women shift their mindset and improve their confidence through hypnotherapy, and Oxford VR, which uses virtual reality therapy to deliver evidence-based psychological treatments.
More home testing and health tracking
At this point, most of the UK population will have completed a Coronavirus test, and the general consumer knowledge around healthcare testing and vaccines has greatly increased as people seek to understand how the Coronavirus spreads and impacts our bodies. With this bringing a greater societal acceptance of home-testing and personal health tracking into the norm, it won’t be surprising to see more home-testing kits appearing to help with any number of conditions and wellbeing factors that people wish to self-manage.
Thriva is one of the better-known home-testing kits, helping people to complete an at-home blood test to better understand their body, but more niche and specific tests will continue to arise. TestCard, for example, is removing the admin and time waits consumers have for UTI testing through its dip-stick test and app, and in turn reducing pressure on the NHS for an illness that can usually be managed with quick access to antibiotics. The company is developing similar tests too for glucose measurement as an indicator of diabetes, and a malaria kit for rapid diagnosis.
A rise in targeted solutions
With the healthtech sector growing, we also will see more and more diversity in the types of specific and niche offerings available to everyday consumers. Diabetic care is a boom area here, through companies such as Habitual, which helps people to prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes through weight loss and behaviour changes. Likewise, Insulet is helping empower diabetics to improve their insulin delivery through its tubeless wearable Omnipod and partner app. Femtech is another major growth area, with huge numbers of fertility and cycle trackers emerging, alongside other female wellbeing apps. London-based Astinno’s wearable device, Grace, for example, helps alleviate the perimenopausal symptom known as hot flushes by automatically tracking hot flushes and triggering a cooling effect at their onset.
While these are just some examples of healthtech growth areas for this year, we are also regularly seeing press requests for new health gadgets and technology to sample, review, or write about off the back of this increased consumer interest, suggesting now is a great time to seize on this news agenda through PR.
If you are considering PR for your healthtech business, get in touch with our team of experts today to discuss how we could help.