Remember the popularity of video shops? I missed investing in them when they were hot. Suntan clinics? Was never interested in those as an investment, and they’re decidedly not hot now. Pizza chains, any of them – damn, another hot investment sector got away!
Want to know the next hot thing? It’s health. Not surprising really. Our average age is increasing, according to the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Trends in Aging), the Australian Bureau of Statistics and my good old doctor, Dr Goldberg.
We’re getting older and taller but heavier. Put simply, health is on our minds a lot more. It’s not surprising therefore that health will play a larger part in communications and, more particularly, mobiles and apps.
The increasing cost of housing is contributing to a greater spread of population and seemingly less access to doctors and medical facilities. Our older generations stay in their homes longer, governments are trying to find ways to cut the massive cost of health delivery and it all leads to more self-initiated action. Why health and apps?
Let’s look briefly at technology. I use the Samsung Galaxy 5 and love showing off to friends my low heart rate using the heartbeat checker on the back of the phone. I feel great when the pedometer app that comes standard with the phone, plays a triumphant sound when I’ve done 10,000 steps!
And naturally those Apple people aren’t going to be left behind. They won’t let Samsung to get too far ahead, with further reputed improvements in new sensors and cloud-based offerings storing your health data (they obviously don’t know about the Australian Government’s e-Health – anyone using it?). Apple has launched HealthKit as a hub for tracking health data and for working with other health and fitness devices.
So here’s the opportunity. Recognise that ‘health’ is only going to get bigger and start looking at where you can have an edge. Using the smartphone’s growing capabilities, what do you believe can drive a useful app?
Recognising this trend a while ago, we launched HealthProApps, where we are developing an expanding library of apps for different health professionals, giving them their own branded app with growing capabilities for their patients. This is one niche.
Think too in terms of productivity improvements in health, and the difference your idea can make in delivering better efficiencies in the expansive budget needs of the health industry.
Until next time, I’m off to check my pulse, take a walk and measure my health improvements from yesterday.
Dennis Benjamin is the founder and chief executive of mobile apps specialists AppsWiz and the Informatel Group. He is an expert in the areas of mobile trends, mobile apps, apps for businesses, entrepreneurship, and startups.