According to a joint study by venture capital firm Kalaari Capital and accounting and advisory outfit Grant Thornton, wearable technology is expected to contribute to supplement sales growth, as consumers are now more invested in maintaining healthy lifestyles.
Entitled BillionFit: Technology Redesigning Healthcare, the study said online retailers such as Amazon, Healthkart, Medisys and Neulife were increasing access to supplements and functional foods, and contributing to the rise in 'super foods' such as barley and quinoa.
It added that India’s fitness technology segment is predicted to double to US$250m by 2023, with wearable fitness devices responsible for nearly 90% of this growth.
Vrinda Mathur, a partner at Grant Thornton India, said: “The global realm of healthcare has radically shifted from ‘detect and manage’ to ‘predict and prevent’.
“This change in mindset, combined with the rapid technological and socio-political impetus on improving health, is resulting in a fitness and health boom across the globe."
“Hospitals are no longer primary to tertiary care providers…patients are now consumers of holistic wellness products and services. Technology is the enabler of this transition.”
Several start-ups are already generating buzz in India.
Boltt, an international wearable tech firm headquartered in India, has developed an AI ecosystem that pairs fitness apps with hardware such as smart shoes, an activity tracker and a stride sensor.
In addition to wearable devices like fitness trackers, smart-wear technology is also gaining traction.
One such company is the Washington-based Sensoria, whose AI-centric sportswear can monitor its wearer’s heart rate. Similarly, the California-based Athos specialises in clothes integrated with wearable technology.