Why Unifying Health Tech Systems are the Future
Managing Partner, Innovation and Consumer Technology at Wavemaker
CES has shifted from a technology-focused event to a broader experience that captures the attention of everyone from developers to marketers, all of whom are seeking to understand what the future could look like. For marketers especially, it’s the need to understand what the potential technologies of tomorrow could be, and how those technologies could shape and shift consumer behaviors on an everyday scale. It is critical that we, as marketers, bring together media, content, and technology to help our brands make the future. This doesn’t mean simply picking a technology and running with it—it’s about understanding the brand’s goal, the consumer’s “Purchase Journey,” and finding the right way to be a part of that in ways that provide genuine connectivity and utility. There’s no better example of how these three components (media, content & technology) come together than in the digital health space. This year at CES, the Digital Health floor had more offerings than ever, ranging from the mundane (your standard wearable step trackers) to the more exciting offerings that address real needs.
As more technologies such as wearables, voice assistants, augmented reality, AI, automation, etc. come together in fewer devices (versus each being a part of stand-alone devices), we’re seeing technology not only become smarter, but more sentient. Thanks to technology like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL), which nearly every company claimed was a part of their device or technology (no matter how true the statement actually was), we started to see the shift from smart to sensitive, professional to proactive. This year was about bringing together the best of what tech could do on behalf of the consumer. It is no longer about simply measuring or monitoring—it’s about taking that data and providing utility through tangible actions, advice, and support.
For example, CarePredict launched a direct-to-consumer product for seniors, CarePredict Home, which uses ML, smart wearables, and more to subtlety collect and quantify senior adults’ daily activities (e.g. sleeping, eating, walking, bathing) and predicts their health conditions in real-time for improved in-home senior care (e.g. symptoms hinting ay depression, increased fall risks, and insomnia). These types of technologies, which bring together different tech ‘trends’ into unified systems, enable real utility to be driven from providing an end-to-end system that covers everything from monitoring to providing value from users’ data.
These types of more autonomous systems not only enable the consumer to live a better life, but also enriches and improves the lives of those around them (e.g. caregivers and families). We at Wavemaker see this shift in health-tech systems as driving the future of digital health—be it cosmetic, wellness, or disease management. Platforms and tech that integrate multiple technologies to make real change offers brands opportunities to tap into true, tangible utility they can bring consumers, and should give brands pause to think about where within these cycles of tracking, monitoring, and action they should be playing in.