5 Surprising Digital Health and Wellness Trends to Follow in 2022

Dec 16 · 3 minutes

In 2022, we can expect to bridge the gap between technology and medicine through 5 emerging digital health and wellness trends. 

So, how will we get healthier in 2022?

#1: New Digital Health Trends Will Focus on the Elderly 

People over 60 years old use way more mobile apps than before. 

According to Kilo Health app usage data, more than half (51.34%) of people who seek help managing their cardiovascular health are over 60. Almost half (46%) of people who need support managing diabetes are over 60. Also, 1 in 5 people (22%) that seek to manage their weight with the keto diet are over 60. 

Source: Kilo Health survey of more than 1,000,000 people, 2022

Our population ages rapidly. Unfortunately, the healthcare system is not prepared to offer adequate late-stage or end-of-life care for older adults. It is where telehealth and digital health solutions step in and ease the burden for both caretakers and medical professionals,” says Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD, Head of Medical Affairs at Kilo Health.

This is one of the digital health and wellness trends that shows the way investors make their choices. In October 2021, $1.2B was raised by startups that fall into the Elderly Health vertical. 

Companies that create products for older adults and their caregivers get more traction, and we expect this trend to grow in the upcoming years.

#2: Plant-Forward Nutrition Will Gain Traction

Kilo Health survey of 1 million people shows a stable growth of interest in plant-forward meal plans. According to the usage data from one of our apps in the first quarter of 2021, only 39% of people said they chose to eat meat occasionally or rarely. In the second half of the year, the number reached 49–51%. In just one year, this shows a 31% higher interest in plant-forward nutrition.

Source: Kilo Health survey of more than 1 million people, 2021

A healthy balanced diet consists of minimally processed and fresh food that is rich in many nutrients, dietary fiber and low in saturated fat with a moderated amount of protein and healthy fats. This is one of the best things you can do to lower your cholesterol levels. Including more plant-based ingredients into daily meals, such as healthy plant-based oils, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and vegetables and fruits, will help achieve that,” says registered and licensed dietitian Kristina Žalnieraitė, Head of Nutrition and Wellness at Kilo Health.

More people choose to reduce how much meat they eat and add alternative protein sources to their daily diet. The motivation can vary – plenty of people do it because they want to live more sustainably or because eating meat goes against their ethics.

#3: Community Support Will Become Even More Crucial 

In the Kilo Health analysis about digital health app usage, most of the leading apps listed “community” among the top 3 most common features. This data was consistent when comparing the features from both the most popular apps and the apps that earned the most. 

Months spent in lockdown were probably one of the reasons why the importance of community (both online and offline) became more important than ever. We have an urge to connect to others, and this urge helps us achieve our health goals too,” said Kasparas Aleknavičius. 

We estimate that community building will become even more prominent in 2022. Online support groups, gamified accountability systems, and offline meetups will further enhance the user experience.

#4: Fitness Apps Will Be Used for Improving Mental Health

Health and fitness industries are growing rapidly. In 2020 alone, global revenue from Health & Fitness mobile apps increased to over 5 billion US dollars. This was an increase of over 1.4 billion US dollars compared to 2019.

Many people are interested in getting fitter in general. But we also notice that the intention behind using fitness apps is shifting. 

The most common motivator to start running used to be getting fit or losing weight. Right now, more than 75% of people start jogging to tackle negative emotional states. 

Source: Kilo Health survey of 78,214 running app users

In a survey of more than 78,000 users, 77.9% of respondents said they experienced a negative emotional state before they began running regularly. 

Out of this number, 40.8% of people said they felt stressed. 19.3% reported being anxious, and 17.8% said they were feeling depressed. 

Our brains developed for movement. If there is one surefire way to improve your mental health, it’s fitness. In the past years, people mostly worked out for feeling healthier or getting in shape. Right now, it’s all about mental health,” – explains Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD.

Check out the “Digital Health User Trends in 2022” report by Kilo Health.

#5 Digital Solutions for Women’s Health Will Grow

The number of organizations that received funding in the women’s health category decreased in 2021. But the overall number of investments skyrocketed in 2021 by a whopping 693%. 

Women have been underrepresented in medical research and clinical trials for a long time. This has resulted in a lower supply of women-specific products and health solutions. However, with women representing half of the population, the increasing need for solutions seems to attract investments. 

For years, female-specific products didn’t really live up to their expectations. You cannot simply make a product pink and expect it to be truly helpful for women’s health. There are huge differences between how women and men experience pain or encounter hormonal fluctuations. Even our nutritional needs slightly differ. It’s about time this has been addressed in digital health solutions too,” explains Kristina Žalnieraitė. 

Source: Kilo Health analysis of 137 investment deals between 2019-2021

And the vast potential is there. Roughly 49% of US counties do not have a single OB-GYN, and by 2050, we might face a deficit of 22,000-doctor. That will result in a tremendous demand for comprehensive women’s health care products. 

Check out the “Health and Wellness Market Predictions for 2022” report by Kilo Health.

Kasparas Aleknavicius
Head of Medical Affairs at Kilo Health
Medical doctor turned health futurist who finds joy in chess, jogging, and open-fire cooking.

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