During the fourth quarter of 2020, revenues of health and fitness apps in the United States amounted to 209 million U.S. dollars, while consumer spending in Europe generated 82 million U.S. dollars in the same period. While market leaders like Strava, MyFitnessPal, and meditation app Calm have managed to secure a large global user base, the popularity of new health app categories like mobile menstrual calendars and hydration self-tracking apps has been on the rise.
Medical and healthcare appsHealthcare mobile apps can assist users in monitoring specific parameters or performing actions to improve their health status. Mobile health is designed with the purpose of integrating mobile devices into the medical practice, from diagnosis to patients’ remote monitoring, and pain management. In 2020, almost 1.2 billion U.S. dollars in funding were directed to the development of mHealth apps, making it one of the most promising fields in the digital health sector. mHealth applications can also make the connection between patients and medical practitioners more seamless while minimizing waiting times. Despite the uneven global adoption, prescription apps saw an increase of 26.6 percent in downloads in the United States at the beginning of 2021, with users in the country looking to order repeat prescriptions easily from their mobile devices.
Sport and fitness apps are an ever-trending phenomenonFitness and sports apps are designed to promote physical activity and encourage users into building training habits. While users worldwide have gradually started going back to their local gyms as the global COVID-19 pandemic normalizes, download trends show that fitness apps are maintaining the growth acquired after the outbreak. Between 2019 and 2020, downloads of the leading mobile fitness and workout apps recorded an increase of 84 percent during their seasonal January surge in popularity. In January 2020, New Year’s fitness resolutions drove users to generate roughly 16.3 million downloads of the leading workout apps, while January 2022 saw almost 17 million downloads of apps in this category.
In recent years, fitness apps have developed a more holistic approach to physical activity. The California-based Fitbit, which specializes in wearable devices, allows users to pair their smartphone app with the company’s branded watch and receive exercise reminders. The Fitbit app, which counted 31 million active users worldwide in 2020, allows users to self-track their sleep and calories intake, as well as to join a community of likeminded users. Additionally, the in-built social features of sport and fitness apps make them both deeply interactive and functional. Strava, which recorded a peak of more than 10 million downloads during the second quarter of 2020, allows users to calculate their athletic performance potential, but also to follow users, check activity feeds of sports clubs and friends, as well as add photos and videos.