Today’s healthcare system of only treating disease as it arises unsustainably costs the global economy trillions of dollars each year.
Lux Research says two significant paradigm shifts are enabling change.
First is a shift from a focus on treating disease to helping consumers stay well – a change in the “when” of how care is provided.
Second is a decentralization of healthcare happening, with more tools and services being deployed in the home or “on the go,” in contrast to more traditional hospitals and clinics, and a significant shift in “where” care is provided.
These shifts are enabled by digital tools like wearables, biosensors, digital biomarkers, and artificial intelligence.
Lux’s new report, “Transitioning from Wellness to Health: How digital wellness tools are impacting the healthcare landscape,” defines the traditionally nebulous term “wellness” and identifies opportunities with digital tools to engage.
Wellness is nonspecific preventative healthcare and applies across the health spectrum, from healthy consumers to patients with more serious diseases.
3 criteria to redefine healthcare
As paradigms shift toward solutions that are ideal for home use and, in the broader environment, addressing health conditions before they even become issues, there is an opportunity for non-traditional players to engage with healthcare in new ways.
Lux defines any solution to be a wellness solution if it meets three key criteria:
- Supports evidence-based approaches to care along the health spectrum
- Has demonstrated documentation of efficacy (i.e., some form of clinical validation)
- Falls within the categories of exercise, nutrition, and/or recovery
Dani Bradnan, analyst at Lux Research and lead author of the report, says wellness requires that both physical and mental states work together to keep a person healthy, which means using the right mix of exercise, nutrition, and recovery.
“Despite the tendency for solution providers to look at exercise, nutrition, and recovery as units that can be addressed separately, the reality is that they are interconnected,” she continued.
Focusing on a single pillar is a missed opportunity to help consumers understand the role that a solution can play in their overall wellness. Demystifying wellness for the consumer can be a strong value proposition on its own.
A key value proposition in wellness offerings is actionability. The measurement chosen must give users a sense of what action to take, which may mean confirming that their actions are on the right track or suggesting a course correction.
While monitoring and management of disease will always have its place, the focus in healthcare is shifting toward helping people stay well in their homes rather than triaging after people get sick. Leaning into building solutions that embrace the role of wellness in managing healthcare will be critical for non-traditional health players