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Health and Fitness – A Move to Mobile?

Health and Fitness App Market Overview

As lockdowns continue and even as restrictions ease, many consumers are spending more time at home, and are reconsidering their health, lifestyle and exercise regimes. Mobile apps allow consumers to conveniently manage their health, giving access to information when and where they need it.

  • Global downloads of Health & Fitness category apps increased by a record 47% year-over-year in Q2 2020 to 656 million with a month still remaining in the quarter.
  • The global fitness app market is expected to rise to around USD 98 billion by 2026.
  • In a recent report by App Annie, consumers spent almost $1 billion on Health and Fitness apps in H1 2020 globally “amidst demand for at-home fitness and wellness.”

Global Helth and Fitness App Installs by Quarter Graph

Information Source: Sensor Tower

Health and Fitness Apps in 2020

Even when considering that January is a month of New Year’s resolutions, the average weekly hours spent in health and fitness apps have seen huge growth since then:

  • In June 2020 Health and Fitness apps received $160.5 million in user spending (14.5% increase from January and 5% increase from April).
  • Keywords linked with active workouts (“fitness” and “yoga”) saw more app store search volume than mental health keywords (“therapy” and “wellness”).
  • Among the selected keywords “yoga” saw the second strongest growth in demand in H1 2020, followed by “wellness”.
  • Every search represents a potential new customer – as more consumers turn to app stores for services that were previously sought in-person, App Store Optimization (ASO) is more important than ever.
  • Fitness app Strava saw installs grow to a record 3.4 million in May – a 179.2% increase from January and 9.8% from April. Revenue also increased “by 166% from January to $6.4 million and 98.7% from April.”
  • See our previous blog for top health and fitness apps such as Asana Rebel, My Fitness Pal and Nike Training Club and Peloton.
  • It’s not just physical health – mental health and wellbeing apps like Calm and Headspace have also seen significant growth.

Fitness App Market Drivers

Even pre-COVID-19, consumers were taking health and wellbeing seriously, with more information and resources available to them than ever before.

  • Statistics from various health and fitness apps show that users are loyal to their favourite apps; 96% of consumers use a single fitness app, over 75% of active users open their health and fitness apps at least twice a week, while 25% of the most engaged users open their apps over ten times a week.

Health and Fitness App Market Drivers and Restraints

Information Source: Pharmiweb

  • Technology – there is a higher rate of adoption for digital/mobile health applications to maintain individual health.
  • Smart devices – more consumers are realising the benefits of how technology can revolutionise at-home workouts in various ways, including; wearables, fitness apps, live streaming workout classes and virtual reality fitness.
  • Obese population – increasing rate and the significant rise in the consumption of fast-food.
  • COVID-19 – the coronavirus outbreak has advanced mobile usage by 2 to 3 years — accelerating the transition to a mobile-first world.

Fitness App Market: Restraints

 

Telehealth and MHealth

The telemedicine market is set to be valued at $175.5 billion by 2026. Telehealth is “no longer just a nice-to-have, but instead a must-have for patients and healthcare professionals alike”, especially during these uncertain times.

While healthcare providers are making their services more accessible, consumers are turning to telehealth apps to support routine health activities; “scheduling virtual appointments, messaging with healthcare professionals, and evaluating test results”.

  • Recent Statista research shows that the majority of those aged 18-65+ in the UK alone support the introduction of a COVID-19 contact-tracing app.
  • “Telehealth” saw a dramatic rise in App Store search volume during the peak of COVID-19 cases in the US, up 81% in April 2020 from Jan 2020.
  • Global Mobile Health (mHealth) market is forecasted to grow at 8% “from USD 40.59 billion in 2019, to USD 310.37 billion in 2027.
  • A 65% increase in downloads of global medical apps from January – April 2020 shows an “increased reliance and escalation of consumer trust in these apps for handling tasks traditionally fulfilled in-person amidst continued social distancing precautions.”
  • 59% reported they are more likely to use telehealth services now than pre COVID-19.
  • 33% would leave their current physician for a provider who offered telehealth access.

SLA Digital Telemedicine Statistics

Information Source: GMI Insights, App Annie & Forbes

It’s not just the coronavirus pandemic that is growing the demand for telehealth and mHealth. The application of mHealth for education and learning is “significantly boosting its demand, especially in poor countries with limited or no access to proper healthcare facilities.”

The Future of Health & Fitness Apps

The increase in search, downloads and revenue for Health & Fitness apps in 2020 is a strong example of consumers turning to mobile devices to support their daily routines.

Psychologists have found it takes an average of 66 days to form a habit, and as the pandemic stretches into Q3 2020 “app habits are solidifying and mobile is becoming even more deeply rooted in our routines”. So it’s probable that the move to mobile for health and fitness will continue.

Simple payments can only enhance the experience of health and fitness apps, leading to increased users and customer retention. Carrier billing offers an attractive way to pay with straightforward payments through your mobile phone bill. Get in touch with SLA Digital today to find out more.

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