Mobile devices, apps and wearable technology have disrupted and transformed healthcare and fitness over the past few years. The infiltration of health and fitness apps has escalated tremendously in 2014, with a 62% increase in usage of health and fitness apps over the past six months according to a Flurry report. This compares to 33% increase in usage for the mobile app industry in general, indicating that the growth in health and fitness app usage is 87% faster than the entire app industry.
The prevalence of health and fitness apps comes from a combination of the growth of the wearable tech industry and the evolution of the quantified self movement. Consumers are increasingly relying on mobile applications to help them manage their health and fitness.
Health and Fitness Apps Today
Many fitness apps today use activity detection to contextualize a user’s movements so that the data is insightful and digestible. They identify type of movement, like “running” or “walking” to break up a user’s movement and understand how individual choices contribute to overall activity level. Downloadable apps are moving the sports tracking device market from proprietary devices to mobile phones, but adoption has been limited by the data they can collect.
The Next Step for Health and Fitness Apps
In 2016 it is predicted that sports and fitness apps will hit $400 million, according to a new report from ABI Research, with a whopping 1 billion health-related app downloads by the end of that year. The rise of apps for connected wearable fitness devices will be the primary factor in the industry’s continued growth.
The Health and Fitness apps that will prevail in such a crowded industry are the ones that fit most conveniently into users’ lives. By 2016, health and fitness apps will be using location-based contextual awareness to present a complete picture of each activity throughout a user’s day. Location-based context empowers fitness apps to create dynamic mobile experiences that endear users and maximize profitability using geofencing, anonymized personas and venue-level profiles. Contextual location data encourages positive behaviors as they happen and can anticipate how to help users stay active and on top of their goals.
Use Cases for Health and Fitness Apps and Contextual Location Data
Automatically Trigger “Gym Mode”
For instance, a fitness app using geofencing can automatically trigger “Gym Mode” when the user goes to the gym. As the user enters any gym, geofences can help the app automatically pre-load the user’s playlist or trigger the beginning of a work out. The app’s capability to intuitively know when it’s time for a workout will help it differentiate in the market.
Prompt “Restaurant Mode” for Frictionless Calorie Counting
Health and fitness apps that help users record nutritional information about what they eat can use contextual location data to make the arduous manual journaling process more frictionless. The app can help users remember what they have eaten and even get additional calorie information by knowing which restaurants they have visited and automatically loading menus accordingly.Smarter Grocery Shopping
Health and fitness apps that help users make smarter nutritional choices can use geofencing to understand when a user is at the grocery store. The app can conveniently pre-load users’ shopping lists and recommend healthy alternatives. Delivering contextually relevant shopping content and experiences to users when they are in-store improves the usability and utility of health and fitness apps app.
Context can dynamically change user experience and increase app engagement by reminding users when they are able to make a smart health decision and by using "gym mode" to get the app ready for a user's workout as they are entering the gym. Skyhook enables app developers to build, measure, and optimize an infinite amount of geofences and deploy contextual user experiences at any location or category of venues with custom polygon geofences.