Digital Wellness: How technology is transforming our approach to wellbeing
Today, technology weaves throughout our lives. Whether we’re digital natives who have never known life without it, or digital adoptees who have lived through technology’s rapid evolution, we now integrate technology into our daily existence to some degree. We use it to enable, inform and communicate across many aspects of our lives and, increasingly, we use it to enhance our personal wellbeing. Indeed, technology is a driving force behind the growth of the wellness industry, enabling people to become more informed, engaged and in control of their wellness journey. For wellness practitioners, technology offers exciting opportunities to connect and engage with clients. It also offers challenges, however, as those clients face being overwhelmed by the bewildering array of products and services emerging from a growing industry.
Measuring wellbeing – more than a feeling
There’s a famous quote that runs along the lines of: “You can’t improve what you can’t measure”. The arrival of wearable, internet-connected, personal technology has given us data-driven insights into aspects of our lives such as exercise, sleep patterns and nutrition that were previously difficult to assess. This has proved compelling. It enables an increased sense of control over our own wellness by moving elements of it into realm of the measurable, and therefore improvable. We can now link statistical evidence with our own feelings and intuition to become more connected in every sense.
This increased awareness promotes engagement: our highly personalised data encourages us to actively engage in pursuing wellness – whether that’s by walking an extra lap around the park or getting an early night. It also opens our eyes to other ways that we can approach conscious living.
Mobile mindfulness – tech to tackle mental health
In tandem with the meteoric growth of wearable wellness tracking technology is the rise in technology solutions for the less tangible, but no less significant, challenges that we face in managing our mental health. Mobile technology is bringing mindfulness and meditation to the mass market through digital wellness apps that promote contemplation and self-care anytime, anywhere. In the first quarter of 2018, the top ten most successful self-care apps earned a combined $27million worldwide, a 170% increase on the same period in 2017.
This trend reflects increasing awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing and a welcome lessening of the stigma around mental health problems. As technology helps people take the first steps to break down those taboos, by downloading an app or visiting a support resource, it is also sparking offline activity, leading more people to seek out activities such as yoga, coaching, meditation and mindfulness in their local communities.
Technology enables communities of interest
One of the most striking and powerful effects of the information revolution is its ability to create wellness communities not limited by geography. Instead, they are based on shared passions and interests, uncovering new ways to transform our existence and enhance our potential to live super-conscious and connected lives, exactly as we do here in The Oneness Movement. The online wellness community connects those that are seeking to improve their lives with those who can guide them on their journey. It’s a powerful force for connection and change.
While technology is undoubtedly driving growth and awareness of the wellness industry, it has also changed the competitive environment and customer expectations of engagement. As a wellness practitioner it’s important to understand these changes and how to embrace them:
Lowered barriers to entry for wellness practitioners
Thanks to the simplicity of technology, the barriers to starting a wellness business have never been lower. With passion and commitment – which, let’s face it, have always been pre-requisites for success – you can set up a company website, social presence and start spreading the word to potential customers. The challenge is that every other wellness business can do this too, making cutting through the noise and connecting with clients who are genuinely interested in exploring what you offer more difficult. This is where engaging with those interest communities mentioned earlier reaps rewards, giving you access to an audience that is receptive to your message. You can save a lot of time and effort by making sure your business is visible where clients are actively looking for the kind of services you offer.
The general trend towards highly personalised service, which is occurring across all sectors, is even more important when it comes to wellness; it is a very intimate and individual journey for everyone. Thanks to wearable tech we now have access to data about aspects of our physical wellbeing that we have never had before. By encouraging your clients to share relevant data and using that to develop hyper-personalised services you will be able to offer greater client satisfaction and build stronger longer-lasting relationships.
Continuous client engagement – delivering “life support”
Engaging with clients between scheduled appointments and classes is a huge opportunity for practitioners to round out their service and integrate more closely into clients’ lives. By regular communication through multiple channels such as social media, email and text (with permission, of course) you can create a unique culture around your service and create a customer experience that stands out from the crowd.
There’s no question that developments in technology and its integration into everyday life have unlocked enormous potential in the wellness industry. The challenge now is to harness that technology to underpin the unique benefits of the service that you offer, so you can help more clients to discover and improve their personal wellness and embrace transformative change.