The Zurich-based Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (GDI) and its research partner, the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) have issued a new report, “Wellness 2030 – The New Techniques of Happiness”. GDI is a renowned think-tank that identifies critical future trends for the economy and society. This new research report takes an in-depth look at today’s happiness providers, the wellness industry, while offering a radical vision for that industry’s future. According to Susie Ellis, GWI Chairman and CEO, “This research is crucial for analyzing how the global ‘Silicon Valley’ will shake up the wellness space and create entirely new players and concepts that look a whole lot different than what we traditionally mean by ‘wellness’”.
Wellness 2030 investigates how new technologies and techniques of self-optimization will transform the wellness market over the next dozen years. For instance, if humans have constantly tried to discover the key to happiness (using every tool they had access to), digitalization has expanded the technical range of these tools and offers up individual metrics for happiness. We are on a quest to decode happiness: from the surge in Silicon Valley biohackers to the rise of “data selfies” that will capture and project information about our inner emotional lives.
Five technology trends that will shape the future wellness market:
1. Humans and technology converge
Digitalization will enable lifestyles with dramatically more options and will influence our habits, needs and desires. We are redefining ourselves: what does it mean to be human? We are seeing the rise of a new symbiosis between humans and technology.
2. Biohacking: the shortcut to well-being
Biohackers are a subculture driven by a pioneering spirit. They’re open to crossing disciplinary lines to make things possible; they want to liberate themselves from the limitations of nature, age and disease. Their credo: everyone is capable of developing their own self-healing and self-optimization powers. Biohacking is already impacting the wellness industry today. Start-up The Third Wave, for instance, aims at improving well-being with the help of LSD microdosing.
3. Data selfies
Smartphones have made the self-portrait a dominant form of communication. In the future, metrics on our inner lives will be added to these images of our outward appearances. Wearable tech has been collecting data on everything from our heart rates to the calories we burn – and soon far more data on our emotions and happiness will be captured. This will offer radically new and transparent insights into our total well-being, and will have huge implications for the health and wellness industries.
4. Wellness is social — make people happier and healthier together
In the 21st century, connecting with other people has taken on a new dimension: complex collaborations are now a part of our everyday lives. In the future, algorithms could take on the work of choosing the right partner or the perfect mindfulness coach. What’s more, artificial intelligence inside a new generation of smart assistants will increase the quality of the outcome.
5. Biofeedback replaces surveys and “likes”
The technology for measuring emotions has made great strides. Apps are already attempting to track behavioral patterns and emotions. Which apps does this person use most frequently? How long does she sleep? This panoply of smartphone data will increasingly offer up very precise indications of a user’s mental and physical health.
These trends’ implications for the future wellness industry :
The wellness industry will become an extension of the data economy
The wellness industry must get ready for a data-driven future. It needs to – and will – become an extension of the data economy, if it wants to decipher the needs and desires of its customers and create offers that match them.
Biohackers and Silicon Valley are the new pioneers of wellness
Biohackers are set to shake up some of the rules of play. The lucrative unicorns emerging from Silicon Valley are one indication that the code to human happiness may well be cracked there.
In the era of customer ratings, consumer data management will become a key area of expertise
The culture of likes and dislikes will not bypass the purveyors of wellness. The ultimate judgment of quality will come in the form of customer ratings and, more importantly, that customer’s behavior. In the long term, this means a shift from “expert knowledge” to comprehensive consumer data management.
Blurring the boundaries between wellness and healthcare
In the future, the lines between wellness and traditional healthcare will become increasingly blurred. The closer the wellness industry moves towards healthcare, the more it enters a severely regulated market – with regulations unlikely to decline in the future. These regulations may well slow the pace of wellness innovation, but not stop it.