Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production

Live from CES: A Year of Self Care

Advertising Agency
London, UK
INFLUENCER: Isobar's Puja Kartan reports on key themes emerging from this year's exhibition

CES 2019 has an entire section dedicated to health and wellness - as they should. Healthcare providers and insurance companies have long been developing digital products to better deliver comprehensive treatment including smoking cessation products, weight loss plans and even fertility programs. With Amazon breathing down their necks, it is more important than ever for more traditional healthcare companies to double down on digital - or risk becoming obsolete. It is an expected extension for people to rely on personal consumer products to round out their healthcare.

The exhibitors include emerging startups and established players that provide technology solutions across pharma, med devices, wellness products, wearables and more. While there is a ton to explore and experience, three key themes emerged from all of the healthcare solutions showcased.

1. Self Care

2019 is the year of self care. More than half of the booths I’ve seen thus far revolved around personal care and wellness. Several brands showcased products that aim to relax our bodies and minds, essentially enabling us to take care of ourselves. There were more massage products than one could imagine: whole body massages in chairs that retail for more than $10,000, eye massages, face massages, head massages, brain massages... you get the idea. There were also many meditation solutions, virtual yoga and stretching experiences, and products to help you breathe easier. 

2. Data Analysis

This year demonstrates a major shift from tracking to analysis. While many wearable companies are present at CES, their solutions feel more holistic than in years prior. Offerings don’t simply track the number of steps, biometric data (like pulse and blood pressure, or sleep cycles), but instead have evolved toward prevention and intervention. For example, Addison Care’s virtual caregiver uses AI, machine learning, and screens throughout the home to deliver a holistic healthcare environment outside of a doctor’s office. It uses verbal and physical cues to guide, diagnose, and alert, with plan and treatment adherence, monitoring of vital signs, and notifications of emergencies like falls.

3. Alternative Therapies

Many brands are also debuting new methods and solutions to solve existing healthcare problems. For instance, the idea of managing pain through a drug-less wearable from a company called Quell. Their products are worn below the knee but send vibrations to the brain to manage pain symptoms throughout the body, and can be a cost effective and safer alternative to pain medications, which is particularly relevant during this ongoing opioid crisis. Other forms of solutions take a major problem, like pain management, and addresses a narrower and more targeted slice of the issue. Some examples of this include companies who are providing better sleep solutions, citing studies that show increased sleep quality can lead to lower pain, better overall health, and increased productivity.

While these technologies are dominating at CES, it will be interesting to follow them throughout the year to see if they start to penetrate the consumer marketplace.

Puja Kartan is strategy director at Isobar US