Industry InsIghts: Wellness 2020
10 wellness predictions for 2020 – and beyond Marc Cohen, who leads the Wellness discipline, school of health and Biomedical sciences, at rMIt university in Melbourne, Australia, outlines his predictions for the future of wellness – and the implications for spas
t is always treacherous to make predictions and, in a world where change is occurring at such a rapid pace, the only certainties are that the future will be radically different and that any current forecasts are likely to flawed. Dramatic shifts in human demographics, climate and computer intelligence, together with new technological innovations, renewable energy systems and unprecedented human connectivity, will combine to create a future that’s far beyond the realms of our current thinking. However, though predictions are difficult to make, the following list is based on current trends that are likely to continue into the near future and impact the spa and wellness industry by presenting opportunities and challenges that spa owners and operators may benefit from considering.
spa business HanDbOOK 2017 – 2018
AI CONSULTANTS & VIRTUAL WELLNESS
Artificial intelligence will evolve to create personal AI wellness consultants that design programmes informed by vast data sources, including genetic, microbiome, biosensor, psychometric, geographical exposure and social-connection data. Virtual reality will also move into the wellness world with virtual experiences and getaways to exotic locations, both real and imaginary. Together, virtual reality and AI will power immersive games using real-time biometrics that take us places we have not yet imagined. This will provide spas with the opportunity to create unique experiences and treatments based on guests’ personalised data. It will challenge spas to adapt their wellness offerings to VR environments and it will also challenge spas to provide exhilarating and nurturing real-world experiences that can compete with VR experiences available elsewhere.
THE POCKET LAB
The power of smartphones will be leveraged to revolutionise personal medical testing. Sophisticated technologies – currently only available in specialised labs with multi-milliondollar equipment – will become available to everyone, at minimal cost. Expect to see new low-cost nano-biosensors and devices that collect and analyse our blood, urine, sweat and tears, and measure the quality of our food, water, environment and overall health. This will provide the opportunity for spas to compete with conventional medical services and offer evidencebased services that positively impact guests’ health metrics. Personal wellness metrics will also challenge spas to monitor their guests’ wellbeing and response to treatments, as well as to interface with existing and future medical data and record-keeping systems. www.spahandbook.com
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