We’ve all seen retro photos from the late 1960’s during the golden age of air travel when smoke filled cabins were common place. Eventually, as business travellers became more conscious about their wellbeing, smoking was banned on all flights and a new era of healthy travel was ushered in.
Accordingly, employers are putting a greater emphasis on an individual’s ability to “adapt and self-manage” their health by taking better care of themselves.
Our research supports this trend and found that 77% of travellers believe that looking after their health while travelling is entirely their own responsibility, while this attitude is more marked among the health-conscious 50+, of which 82% agree.
As technology matures, a range of tools will help travellers manage their health, including a suite of mobile-device-based monitoring and diagnostic applications known as mHealth. There are already many applications available that could allow for remote diagnosis of an illness when in an unfamiliar country, monitor heart rates or blood pressure, and help with sleep management.
We believe this trend is likely to accelerate over the next decade as debt-laden governments in the West do their best to defray the cost of total healthcare expenditure.
Apart from mobile technology, with more sophisticated and smaller sensors that can be woven into our clothes or implanted into our bodies, integrated with social networks that bring together patients’ groups and healthcare providers in a more responsive way, the potential to track, share and manage your “wellbeing status” will be huge.
However, for stress or anxiety in transit, the answer may not be conventional mHealth applications. Our research indicates that while transit-induced anxiety and stress is undoubtedly an issue for many, travellers are skeptical about the ability of mHealth applications to address their fundamental problems (and therefore also less willing to pay for them).
Does mHealth technology appeal to you?