The Impact of Health Tech Companies In Enhancing Exercise in The U.S
In the past few decades, technological advancements in healthcare services have taken a giant leap forward in nations worldwide, from wearable devices that help healthcare professionals personalize treatments to novel telehealthcare innovations that ease the communication and interactions between patients and their doctors across borders. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, which still shapes our new world, digital health tech companies have been developing innovative, ultra-modern platforms that solve today’s health issues, critically weight-related diseases.
Despite the recent slump in VC funding in digital health, reports in the U.S. show that a considerable amount – over $3.4 billion raised in Q1 2023 across 132 deals – made its way into developing the future of digital health. Unsurprisingly, this funding has crept into the U.S. fitness industry, with companies increasingly looking for solutions that motivate people to exercise more to prevent the risk of sedentary diseases such as diabetes Type 2, cardiovascular diseases, and, critically, curb obesity rates in the country.
The U.S. remains plagued with the issue of obesity, ranking 14th in the world in the rate of obesity among adult males (36.47%) and 30th among adult females (38.16%). With the rise of new fitness technologies, the world’s largest economy could finally find a solution to this persistent problem.
How technology is being used to enhance exercise in the U.S.
For years, the rise in technological innovations has brought about marked reductions in the daily physical activities required to maintain a healthy lifestyle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults are required to have at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, but less than 50% of adults in the U.S. actually reach this recommended level. This systematic displacement of a physically active lifestyle in our natural outdoor environment with a sedentary, indoor lifestyle has been shown to be the primary cause of prevalent chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
In light of these saddening facts, health tech companies nationwide and globally are developing solutions to get people to exercise more.
At the top of this health tech list lies wearable technologies such as Apple Watches and other fitness bands that allow users to track their movements and provide helpful health metrics such as the total steps taken, heart rate, run or ride pace, or the amount and quality of sleep each night. It helps users to identify and track their fitness and health goals, making it easier and more efficient for them to plan their fitness routines.
Secondly, the rise of fitness apps leveraging AI, such as FitnessAI, is revolutionizing fitness by helping users personalize their own fitness using data tracked by smart fitness equipment. In addition, users can create virtual AI-controlled fitness coaches to help them with their workouts. AI-powered fitness tech further extends the utility of users’ data to create tailored workout routines that help users progress faster towards their fitness goals and reduce the risk of injury.
Notwithstanding, AI fitness apps also create personalized workouts and healthy lifestyle routines better than a human trainer can. Apps such as Aaptiv Coach leverage data collected from wearables to create specific training modules and diets for the user in real-time, enhancing your training day by day.
The rise of blockchain technology as a solution to fitness
One of the fastest-growing technologies, blockchain technology, is also gaining a hold in the physical activity market. For instance, Sweat Economy is a global health and wellness ecosystem that aims to boost exercise motivation by rewarding users with crypto and other rewards for walking daily. Its related move-to-earn app, Sweatcoin, launched in 2015 as a Web 2 app offering walking reward points (sweatcoins) for users to redeem vouchers on its app.
However, with the emergence of blockchain as a power force in the tech industry, Sweatcoin transformed into the Sweat Wallet (a Web 3 app) in 2022, introducing $SWEAT token rewards. The tokens are listed on 17 centralized exchanges and tradable on the open market, offering more utility to the Sweat Economy community. The Web 3 app, set to launch in the U.S. in September, allows users to convert the first 5,000 daily steps into $SWEAT tokens.
The launch in the U.S. could be a pivotal moment in the fitness industry in the country. Sweat Wallet is expected to motivate millions of people to walk daily with its gamification of exercise and incentivized routines. As the Web 2 version tests and trials showed, Sweatcoin helped participants walk at least 45% more daily, with an average weight loss of 3kg per participant during the trial phase.
Apart from motivating users to exercise, blockchain technology also provides better data security and protection. Health data is sensitive, and protecting it is the key to any successful fitness app. Blockchains are intrinsically decentralized, meaning your data can not be shared with third parties, and employ a cryptographically secure structure ensuring end-to-end data sharing, privacy, and security. Your health data also remains totally under your control.
Finally, blockchain-based fitness apps can provide users with an opportunity to connect with other like-minded people on the network. While Web 2 apps also provide this feature, the decentralized nature of blockchain allows users to connect with people worldwide, share their fitness journey, and get rewards from competing with other community members.
The future of physical activity in the U.S.
The future of physical activity in the United States is undergoing a transformative shift as we venture into the 21st century. AI, blockchain, and other futuristic fitness technologies could help solve many health issues pertaining to exercise and fitness, helping people live more fulfilling lives.
Over the past few decades, the importance of leading a healthy and active lifestyle has been emphasized, sparking a significant change in how Americans perceive and engage in physical activity. With technological evolution set to accelerate further, Americans are shaping up to a future where the nation strives to create a more active, vibrant, and healthier society.