Health is holistic.
It’s likely you’ve been thinking about your health and wellness a lot more lately. It’s not just because you just scrolled passed your dream physique on some IG fitness account or saw an ad on the subway about the latest diet craze (now with door to door delivery!). While those are contributing factors, it’s also because of an increasing prevalence of health and wellness being integrated throughout all lines of business. Health has become holistic.
According to a case study published by JWT Intelligence, more and more tech companies are attempting to integrate mindfulness and fitness into everything they create.
“The more we learn about health, the more it seems that health includes everything…If the 1980s was the decade that saw fitness and gym culture emerge into the mainstream, the 2010s have been about extending health and wellness into every aspect of our lives—and also every sector of the economy.”
As our smartphones continue to optimize aspects of our lives, new companies are emerging by creating applications and hardware that address the most important part of our lives – our health. Below are three companies that are addressing real health concerns using emerging technology and innovative modes of delivery.
Care/of, a startup selling vitamins and herbal supplements online, is currently valued at $156 million; that’s within striking distance of publicly traded retail chains that are among the industry’s leaders. Care/of’s value on the market isn’t far from Vitamin Shoppe with a market capitalization of about $203.5 million (and 3,860 employees), or GNC Holdings Inc., which has a market value of $254.2 million with 6,400 employees. Care/of has far fewer employees (just 100 as of August 2018).
The New York-based startup sells monthly subscriptions of vitamin packs on its website and advertises through Facebook and Instagram, following the playbook of direct-to-consumer brands in other industries like Casper mattresses and Warby Parker eyeglasses.
More than 1.5 million people have taken Care/of’s quiz, which spits out a custom set of vitamin recommendations based on consumers’ age, gender, health goals and level of skepticism about traditional medicines. This also reflects the brand’s modern thinking toward customer acquisition by building interactive, digital tools that output personalized results. The company’s vision is to build a well-rounded wellness company that sells a variety of products based on users’ personalized needs. Care/of already integrates seamlessly with Apple Inc.’s health app, among others.
Capsule, in theory, is simple – once a doctor prescribes the medication, the patient will get a text from Capsule enabling them to schedule delivery. The company promises to deliver the medication to anyone in New York City within a few hours of being prescribed. The platform also – and this is big – lets patients transfer their refills from their old pharmacies to Capsule. Doctors can also e-prescribe to Capsule directly, bypassing any manual entry from the user.
People want their medicine the day it’s prescribed, and Capsule provides that. But according to Capsule’s CEO, Capsule’s model speaks to a much larger trend in healthcare:
“Our holistic pharmacy model meets the demands of the modern consumer. Traditionally, online retail companies have used their technology to eliminate human interaction, but at Capsule, we’ve built our platform to amplify the power of human interaction in your healthcare.”
While Care/Of eliminates the need for a nutritionist or a visit to CVS, Capsule claims to encourage human-to-human interaction, and make them better.
Although more niche, men’s health products and medication company Hims recently landed $50 million in funding. This startup allows men to get prescriptions for hair loss and erectile dysfunction through its online platform. Hims, another direct-to-consumer organization to join the crop, is selling prescription drugs to men through the internet. Sounds crazy, right? But Hims is taking advantage of the rising popularity of telemedicine, providing men the option of getting a prescription after a quick online consultation with a doctor. The meds are provided by a network of pharmacies, then mailed out in clean, discreet boxes to avoid the embarrassment or shame that can come with personal health concerns. Hims hopes to build a brand that serves men with many different health concerns, from erectile dysfunction to acne.
Conclusion & Application
The integration of holistic health and wellness into everything is becoming normalized. Direct to consumer brands are swarming the market to make health consciousness more than trendy for consumers; but increasingly more convenient. The days of waiting at the pharmacy for meds, risking an embarrassing exchange for medication for something personal, or paying inflated prices for vitamins are over. Now companies are emerging to fill an opportunity gap of consumers who want to take their health and wellness more seriously, while pushing the healthcare industry forward.