WellTech: How Can Technology Help Wellness?

Published on 21 September 2021

Reading time 6 minutes

Since the COVID-19 pandemic turned our daily lives upside down, wellness has become our number-one concern!

Where we are with wellness and technology

What if we told you that you use technology way more often than you think?

Thanks to the digitalization of tools, a large majority of our needs have been satisfied: we use computers, phones, connected watches, tablets, and other household robots on a daily basis...

In our ultra-connected world, these uses have become automatic:

  • At school: to take notes, hand in an exam, or do homework
  • At work: to communicate with colleagues and design tomorrow's projects
  • In everyday life: for cooking, watching television, phoning friends and family, going for a walk, and anticipating the route to take when you have an appointment

And the list goes on! According to the "Digital 2021 July Global Statshot Report," out of 7.83 billion people, there are 5.27 billion mobile phone users and 4.80 billion Internet users.

Source: Datareportal.com | Digital 2021 July Global Statshot Report

The United Nations has indeed pointed to the surge in the use of digital technologies in developing countries: "[...] they have reached nearly half the population of developing countries in just two decades, disrupting entire societies.

If their use has been growing, it's also because technologies bring a notable well-being within societies. Some companies have understood the current and growing issue of well-being, which is why "WellTech" was born. This term is used to designate startups that act for the well-being of individuals in society, but also within companies. 

Some projects combining tech and well-being of which our Wilders are part:

  • 15 minutes pour moi”, an application our Wilders from Reims (France) helped develop
  • Energici, who recruited one of our Wilders web developers from Bordeaux (France) for an internship

So, what's new with well-being?

How has the health crisis impacted general well-being?

Since 2020, the pandemic has disrupted not just the physical health but also the mental well-being of workers, the unemployed, and families.

With imposed confinements, restricted travel, and lack of human contact over long periods of time, we've witnessed a real huddling of populations. Forced to adapt, we've sought to achieve a form of well-being at home.

Video streaming platforms to address cinema closures

Video streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime have witnessed an explosion in their usual numbers.

According to France Info Culture...

  • Netflix boasted more than 15.8 million new paying subscribers between January and March 2020—up from 9.6 million between January and March 2019
  • Just five months after its initial U.S. launch, Disney+ touted 50 million subscribers

That's great news for movie buffs!

Applications dedicated to exercise and live shows for home fitness

While the closure of cinemas has impacted our well-being, sports enthusiasts and fitness/yoga lovers have also suffered from the closure of other types of venues like gyms, dojos, and dance halls.

But once again, technology has succeeded in bringing solace to the most determined athletes, who are ready to do anything to keep fit—even at home! 

Buying connected equipment, downloading applications to work out at home, and following live shows on social networks: among cardio, abs, bodybuilding, and yoga, there's something for everyone.

According to MoEngage's study of 1.5 billion mobile app users, the first two quarters of 2020 saw health and fitness app downloads grow by:

  • 157% in India
  • 47% in Asia
  • 25% in Europe
  • 21% in the US

The number of active users over the same period has also increased by:

  • 84% in India
  • 24% in Asia
  • 11% in Europe
  • 8% in the US

Fitness apps were already becoming a hit before the pandemic, but their use exploded during confinements, and the trend is continuing! Among the list of the hottest fitness apps of 2021, Forbes lists:

  • Freeletics
  • Map My Run
  • Strava
  • Openfit
  • Seven
  • Platoon
  • 8fit
  • Nike Training Club
  • Alo Moves

Unlimited well-being via beauty, food, lifestyle applications...

Yet another notable aspect of the tech and wellness alliance: the applications dedicated to our lifestyle. 

While the health crisis has turned our habits upside down, it can sometimes be wise to ask for advice from a third party. How to eat healthier? What tips can you use to sleep better? How to feel fulfilled and good about yourself?

Well-being apps have been able to pull their weight, giving the general public access to their expertise on beauty, food, and daily routines. Here's a non-exhaustive list of wellness apps that can help:

  • HappynGood  is a French application specialized in yoga, fitness, and stretching
  • Headspace  guides users through meditations to remedy stress, pain, and sleep disorders, but also brings "sleepcasts," or relaxations and soundscapes to help them find sleep
  • Skin360™ by Neutrogena  helps users assess their skin and create a personalized skincare routine that meets their needs
  • TroveSkin  specializes in skincare, advises its users on their lifestyle (mood, stress level, diet...) to have beautiful skin
  • MyFitnessPal  or THE nutrition partner that reveals the calorie count of more than five million different foods
  • Easy Meals  shares healthy recipe ideas with its users to eat healthier

Is remote work good for you?

Have you ever wanted to get away from it all? Now that many companies have changed and redesigned their jobs so that they can be done remotely, working from wherever you want has now become possible, and this freedom has greatly contributed to our well-being.

One example is French health insurance Alan, which introduced a "Work from Anywhere" policy following the lockdown. Now its employees can literally work from wherever they want: "We work from wherever we want without having to give notice. Some people work from the seaside in Brittany, others from abroad, others at home... It's very liberating," says Anna Gombin, Knowledge Manager at Alan.

As teleworking presents both advantages and disadvantages, it's important to look at the issue of Quality of Work Life (QWL) to remedy these disadvantages. To learn more about teleworking, we invite you to discover our dedicated article: Remote work, mobility and post-crisis world: where to live and how to work?

Disconnect to better reconnect? 

Even though technology brings us well-being and ease in our daily lives, its overuse can prove harmful. It's important to find your own balance, which is why Google has launched its Digital Wellbeing  platform.

Through Digital Wellbeing, the company reminds us that technology must first and foremost improve our lives—not divert it from its real purpose: well-being.

What can we conclude about well-being and technology?

Technology now touches almost every aspect of life: from cooking to sports, sleep, creativity, education, work, and more.

These new technologies allow us to surpass ourselves, create ever more innovative projects, stay informed, counter loneliness and boredom, develop, travel, and discover new horizons.

All these innovations contribute to our daily well-being, but like everything else, we must know how to use them at the right moments and not abuse them.

If you liked this article and you want to know more about the world of tech and the innovations made possible by it, we invite you to visit our blog!