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TOP 5 Technology Trends Pushing Fitness & Wellness Apps Forward in 2024

13 min read


Fitness technology, unlike professional sports, is all about taking care of yourself and being healthy. Automations brought by technology in fitness continue to drive forward personalized training programs, virtual coaching, VR experience and various analytical capabilities. As MobiDev got its first fitness project back in 2015, we’ve been enriching our expertise in the domain both through developing products and keeping an eye on the industry movement. 

So, in order to plan a modernization for your existing fitness application, or source ideas for a new product, we propose to take a look at the recent technology trends pushing fitness applications forward in 2024.

How Technology Impacts the Fitness Industry?

Recent years showed that the fitness industry is leaning towards approaches backed with science. As people trust more researched approaches and technology behind it more. As McKinsey report 2024 states, US consumers name scientific credibility and efficiency as two of the most important factors when choosing health and wellness products. This growth has to do a lot with the emergence of AI-based training approaches, the widespread use of fitness wearables and overall growth of the health tech market. 

The vast majority of opportunities comes from mobile platforms like Android and iOS. Since these devices can be taken to and from the gym, one’s own home, and elsewhere, they have the most agility out of any device. Mobile apps are used around the world by medical and athletic professionals for this reason, and mobile apps are even developed for mental care.

At the same time, the fitness industry takes full advantage not only from wearable devices and proprietary ML algorithms for processing them, but virtual and augmented reality as a media for fitness instruction, or the means of gamifying fitness experience. Combined, these approaches bring more personalization to training routines, and help users to understand their health condition better than ever. 

With that, we can single out TOP 5 fitness tech approaches that are trending over the last few years, and keep their pace towards the future. What are these trends? 

1. Biomonitoring and Wearables

Wearable devices such as fitness trackers, smart watches, and various kinds of pulse or heart meters have been around for years. However, with the advances in artificial intelligence and the internet of things, we can see a new wave of devices that bring real-time biomonitoring capabilities to the table. 

One example of such devices are smart rings represented by Oura, Ultrahuman, and Samsung Galaxy Ring, and even some rumors of Apple developing their own ring wearable. Smart rings benefit from the thin skin of our fingers, which makes them more accurate at measuring heart rate, steps, sleep patterns, and workout dynamics then usual fitness trackers. But on the other side, a smart ring is significantly smaller than a watch, making it more suitable for intense training.

The most interesting aspect among wearable devices used for real-time biomonitoring is that they rely on powerful software ecosystems backed with AI. Simply said, having your health condition indicators, such wearables can supply users with tons of useful information to modify their workout approaches, customize sleep/rest periodization, or even give advice on the required diet. 

Whoop Coach developed in partnership with OpenAI and backed with GPT4 shows how advanced fitness wearables can be. As the generative model GPT4 makes use of your biometric data and acts as a smart search engine for your body. So that users can generate highly personalized content for fitness purposes using their own body indicators. 

How to Implement a Biomonitoring Feature?

Biomonitoring solution is basically a set of API’s, data transfer protocols, and infrastructure that stores and processes information for the user. All of these software components are nested inside a wearable device that can be either manufactured or sourced via existing wearable technology vendors. 

Through the perspective of development, all you need is a team of experienced software engineers that can handle architecting and coding for a given operating system and devices. However, such projects will also require expertise in AI product development, as integration of existing models or custom development is a significant chunk of work when we speak about real-time data processing.

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2. Personalization of Fitness Routine

Artificial intelligence-powered fitness apps can now provide customized workout recommendations based on an individual’s physical and health levels, as well as personal fitness goals. While we’re talking about just using the output from wearable devices, AI is not limited to just that, as they can also use direct input from the user, or rely on optical sensors.

The obvious benefit of using AI for personalized fitness and wellness, is that it automates the data gathering process and helps to visualize it for the user as recommendations. These recommendations may include the type of workout, level of difficulty, number of reps, or length of workout. AI-powered personal training apps like Gymfitty offer smart workouts that adapt in real-time to the user’s specific needs. However, there are a couple of standalone trends here that we can discuss in detail. 

How to Implement a Personalized Fitness Feature?

Personalization of content is deeply integrated into various products through recommendation engines and forecasting types of AI algorithms. Both technologies are well-researched today and there are lots of proven approaches to utilize user data for personalization. If you want to investigate possible options, contact us to receive a concise answer specific to your product requirements.

Want to know more about using AI in Fitness Apps?

7 Practical Ways to Integrate AI into Sports, Fitness & Wellness Apps

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3. AI Fitness Coaches

Human fitness coaches help people with personalized workout plans, nutrition advice, and they monitor your progress and offer advice where needed. Such applications are based on algorithms that source the information on your workout plans and suggest improvements over time. Which is why, its operation resembles a real coach supervising your activity during the exercise time, and out of it. 

Virtual coach applications can be split into two vivid categories on the market:

  • Analytical apps that make use of smart wearables and user input, and
  • Corrective feedback applications that run on human pose estimation models.
  • Rehab applications meant to help people either prevent injuries or recover after long chronic conditions.

The difference between the two, is in the level of innovative fitness technology applied and the value brought to the end user. So let’s speak about these fitness trends.

Diet & Training Program Analytics

The majority of people experience problems with building an effective training routine, combined with proper diet and sleep-rest periodization to achieve personal goals. In this aspect, AI-based analytics become increasingly popular for those who train at home, or don’t have a coach. As these apps can bring personalized workout plans using the input from the user, and offer a tailored plan. 

So, besides exercise, diet and training programming are some of the most common we’ve been working on for our clients. Users can leverage these apps to track their calories, plan training routines, and calculate the optimal balance of workout with rest. This can also improve existing fitness apps that extend the relationship between independent trainers and gyms with their customers, or be used as a means for remote coaching. 

Corrective Feedback Applications

With computer vision, an AI fitness coach program can see you, especially where your body is in space and how you perform specific exercises. The approach based on human pose estimation has been increasingly popular through the last years, as more and more applications pop up. Since 2020, MobiDev has been working with BeOne Sports to implement human pose estimation virtual coaches, so you can watch our short video to grasp the idea of how such applications work.

Accurate human pose estimation migrated from professional sports, as its use requires some experience with filming yourself on a phone. However, the benefit of real-time analytics and corrective feedback provided for the majority of sports activities made its way to the fitness technology market. 

Ultimately, computer vision-based solutions with human pose estimation are significantly cheaper and more accessible than full-body tracking solutions for fitness training. This lowers the barrier to entry, but users will still need to take care to make sure they’re exercising in a bright environment with low background clutter. That’s why we see this trend as the main high-tech phenomenon to look for in 2024. 

Physiotherapy and Rehab Apps

Similar to corrective feedback applications, human pose estimation found its use to help people recover after they receive an injury. As computer vision technologies are now accurate enough to recognize even smallest movement patterns, that are usually important for rehab procedures. 

AI rehab applications can support physiotherapists or control rehab exercises standalone. Patients can use these apps to track their progress and set achievable, personalized goals for their recovery. This technology can help reduce the cost of treatment by reducing the need for in-person visits to a physiotherapist. AI can also improve existing HIPAA-compliant technologies that assist healthcare professionals with providing physical and mental treatments.

How to Implement an AI Fitness Coach Feature?

MobiDev has multiple projects that fall into the category of AI coaching. From our practical experience, the hardest part of developing a fitness training application with computer vision, is in achieving seamless operation of the model within the app itself. 

The majority of human pose estimation models don’t perform real-time processing or accurate limb tracking right off the bat. This requires meticulous attention to training and integrating the model with the application. Once the bare AI part performs accurate tracking and processing time is reduced to the minimum, it also takes effort to create thought-out user experience design. So, AI fitness coach projects certainly require prior experience in the field of integration computer vision and human pose estimation components to resolve specific tasks within the fitness umbrella even besides conventional programming. Having 5+ years of experience in this domain, our AI engineers will handle consulting and development of fitness solutions for you.

Want to learn more about AI Fitness coach technology?

Dig the Topic of Human Pose Estimation in Sports

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4. Integrated Mental Health Care & Wellness 

Chronologically, after COVID we came to the era of remote everything, including telemedicine and wellness integrated into our digital plains. Recognizing the interconnection between physical and mental health, technology vendors start introducing videoconferencing capabilities and mental health professionals profiles to their fitness platforms and applications. Which brings integrated experience and covers all aspects of wellbeing for the users. You can read our success story on how we developed an integrated cloud platform for group therapy and wellness for our client, to grasp the idea how mental health products pierce the industry today.

Another aspect of such integrations is the use of VR and AR as a tool for psychotherapy, research, and practice. PsyTechVR is probably one of the most noticeable vendors in this field that proposes VR experience as a means for remote mental help, and specifically improving mental state for people right at their workspace. 

How to Implement a Mental Health Feature?

There can be various implementation scenarios you can look for. However the complexity of the system development will depend on whether you need to deal with sensitive information inside the platform. That will require the implementation of HIPAA compliance for your product and setting up secure data transmission flow. 

5. Virtual Reality Training and Gamification of Fitness

Following the topic of VR and its use in fitness technologies, in 2024 the market of AR applications is blooming with new apps. All of the major providers for VR/AR headsets that go with their dedicated products, identify the need to gamify the experience of remote fitness exercising. Which is why, the fitness tech market also benefits from seamless integrations. 

For instance, Meta offers a whole range of VR fitness environments that can be used for group exercises. The big difference here is the extensive use of interactive VR objects that increase customer engagement and make fitness experiences more entertaining. And we can see a market segment forming there, as there are tons of third party fitness platforms integrated with different generations of MetaQuest headsets. 

This trend is a natural extension of what MetaVerse can bring to businesses, because fitness is just one of numerous use cases. However, virtual training in VR seems to be the more rapidly growing segment, since tech giants step on the race of better headsets, what’s evident after the release of Apple’s Vision pro

How to Implement Virtual Training and Gamification Features?

VR and AR development is a separate point of discussion that is discussed  in the dedicated article. What is worth mentioning is that as the VR headsets become more of a usual thing among the users, the development platforms start to open their marketplaces for new applications. This means, the expertise in iOS or Unity development becomes a crucial element for transferring existing fitness applications into a virtual realm. 

Challenges of Fitness Tech market

Speaking of trending fitness tech, we can’t avoid saying a word about the current challenges on the market. One of them is related to the use of artificial intelligence that’s usually based on similar pre-trained models and doesn’t correspond much to humanizing its experience. While personalization with AI can be helpful for optimizing and improving training regiments, it’s not necessarily a replacement for human coaches and group exercising. Which imposes a threat of worsening mental state, while improving one’s physical state. 

As the market is overly saturated, this leads to competition between virtual fitness segments and actual gyms fighting for customer’s attention. With that, human pose estimation-based coaching applications seem as a perfect balance between the two. As the technology behind is advanced enough to cover basic training needs of the user, while not interrupting people from real-world experience and communications.

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Why Build Your Fitness App with MobiDev

MobiDev’s engineers have years of experience building applications for the fitness and wellness industry players. Your vision for a healthier, data-driven future for your customers isn’t out of reach. Cooperate with us today to realize a future where everyone can use their potential for growth.

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