Wearables As a Long-Term Hybrid Business Strategy

Sep 15, 2021 - 6 min read
Future-proof your fitness business by making wearables a part of your hybrid business model

Our daily lives have changed greatly because of digitalization in the last decade - ever since smartphones became ubiquitous, the way we interact with brands, products, and services has irrevocably changed. Wearables have spurred that change even further, being with us every waking moment (and sometimes even in sleep).

Since the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015, the rise in smartwatch wearers has been nothing short of meteoric. It is estimated there are over 75 million dedicated smartwatch users in the US alone.

The adoption of wearables is predicted to keep expanding as these wrist-sized computers become more and more precise in tracking our biological data - to the point it can be an accurate and reliable instrument for medical practitioners.

While fitness had been gradually moving towards digitization, there has been a notable surge in its growth in recent times.​​​​​ It is predicted that the wearable technology market will be worth $265.4 billion by 2026 - which is more than double what it is in 2021.

And as digital and real-life are more intertwined than ever, it’s up to fitness operators to maximize on the digital habits of their clients and integrate wearables into their long-term hybrid strategy.

The Role of Wearables and Fitness in Healthcare

The more data wearables can aggregate from their user, the more possibilities exist for professionals to utilize it. Anything from sleep patterns, heart rate, blood pressure, daily steps taken, and even recognizing the type of workout being done - such insights about a client’s daily life can give precious information for health care professionals as well as fitness operators.

For example, many patients become nervous during their doctor’s visit, sending their blood pressure and heart rate through the roof. This can make it hard for medical professionals to discern the baseline readings for their patients and prescribe medication accordingly.

While some patients have blood pressure meters at home, the mere act of putting on the cuff gives them a surge of anxiety. Advanced wearables can close this gap for healthcare providers by giving them a less intrusive and more complete view of the patient’s lifestyle.

So what does this mean for fitness operators? Physical and mental fitness are the keys to a healthier society. A long list of preventable diseases  - in some cases high blood pressure - are caused by poor nutrition and low levels of physical activity.

Wearables might just be the bridge between complete holistic wellness and healthcare, nipping lifestyle diseases in the bud by providing insights into health through data aggregation.

Holistic health through collaboration

This opens new doors to fitness operators by enabling new streams of revenue and putting them in touch with new target audiences. Think about starting a local professional community by working together with nutritionists, physical therapists, and mindfulness centers. For example, sufferers from long COVID will need extensive physical rehabilitation but also support in mental wellness to overcome the effects of the illness. Connect with your professional health and wellness community to explore the options of offering these clients a holistic service, all connected by wearables.

With the wearable at the core of the client’s lifestyle, you can offer more complete preventive health services to your community and make sure your clients get exactly what they need in order to achieve a happier and healthier life.

Are you looking to offer holistic services in-house? You don’t have to become an expert in every aspect of holistic health.

Discover what Virtuagym’s turnkey digital membership PRO+ can do for you!

Get Personal: Personalization of Fitness Through Data Aggregation

Hyper-personalization is a growing trend in fitness. And through the fast digitization of the fitness industry, it has become expected by (potential) clients. By aggregating data on your clients**, you can build custom plans that fit their personal lifestyles and goals.**

How are your clients behaving while they are not in the gym? This is pertinent information that you can use to not only personalize but also perfect training and nutrition to help them achieve their goals in the best way.

Some clients may take their rest days pretty literally and spend their evenings on the couch, while others might have physical hobbies. Does your client walk their dog every evening for an hour but really dislike going on the treadmill in the gym?

This is a precious insight you can use to personalize and optimize their training plan. You can see how many steps they took, what their heart rate was like, and maybe decide to scrap the treadmill from a few workouts. Now the workouts fit their lifestyle better, which will help keep them motivated for longer.

You don’t even have to meet your clients personally to give them this one-of-a-kind experience! Discover how DAG EEN has perfected remote engagement through wearables and data aggregation to coach their clients to success through Virtuagym’s apps.

Take advantage of seamless integration between your Virtuagym app and partner NEO Health and make most of the aggregated data as DAG EEN does. All data and information are just one button away and access to your tracked data is always at hand.

Wearables as Part of Your Future-Proof Hybrid Business Model

We have seen that the hybrid business model can be adapted to all sorts of fitness companies, anywhere in the world. From luxury health clubs to community-focused neighborhood gyms, all the way to personal trainers and boot camps: take a peek behind the scenes of how five different fitness companies used Virtuagym’s gym software solutions to overcome an entrepreneurial challenge.

As big tech is getting more and more involved in the fitness industry, traditional brick-and-mortar fitness facilities must not fall behind. For example, Apple Fitness + lets users work out at home with online classes while their Apple Watch tracks their biometrics, giving them a complete on-demand fitness experience. This shows that digital fitness and the hybrid model are here to stay.

And clients want to have a choice. Add value to your regular membership with an online and offline offering and integration with wearables through apps. You can automate and personalize their experience, enabling you to expand your streams of revenue.

PRO+ helps you offer competitive services to your clients and community, at the fraction of the budget big tech is spending. And the best part? It’s all customized in your own branding and integrates with a myriad of different platforms to give your clients a seamless experience.

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Nan de Bruin

Content Marketing Team Lead

Visual storyteller and winter sports enthusiast with 15 years of writing experience in English, Dutch, and Czech. Currently doing reps as the Content Marketing Team Lead at Virtuagym.