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From wearables that track peoples’ exercise and fitness habits to diagnostic and treatment tools for the healthcare sector, the digital health and wellness market is booming.

According to a recent report by Global Market Insights, the digital health and wellness market was estimated to be worth over USD $106 billion in 2019. And with 2020’s global pandemic expediting the need for digital health technologies, the industry is predicted to grow by a steady 28.5% up to 2026.

The healthcare sector has been innovating since the industrial revolution — earlier, even. But the era of digital transformation is leading to rapid evolution across all facets of health and wellness. So, here’s our snapshot of the digital healthcare trends that are reshaping the medical landscape today.

Apps to prevent chronic disease

Research by the CDC in the U.S. has found that six in 10 adults suffer from at least one chronic disease, with four in 10 dealing with two or more. Chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer, are the leading cause of disability and mortality in the world today, costing the USA over $5,000 per person, annually. That’s around 75% of the country’s annual healthcare fund.

Innovative apps that help users curb the habits associated with chronic disease, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, sleep deprivation, poor diet and lack of exercise, are now big business. In fact, according to a report by ResearchAndMarkets.com, the fitness app market is expected to grow from USD $3,312.58 million in 2019 to USD $13,016.77 million by the end of 2025. The biggest area of growth being the diet and nutrition niche.

Some of the top apps for avoiding harmful behaviours and promoting health-beneficial actions — according to doctors and dieticians — are Runkeeper; which tracks mileage and pace while exercising, Sleepscore; which aims to ease users into healthier sleeping habits and Fitbit; which comes with a watch equipped with heart-rate monitoring, exercise and sleep tracking, and calorie consumption. Then there are a plethora of mindfulness apps in the market which target users’ mental wellbeing, with the aim of reducing stress — one of the most significant precursors of chronic disease in the modern world.