Iliana Alvarenga
Iliana Alvarenga is the Trends Analyst for North America at Mintel. She identifies and examines relevant and emerging consumer trends across all categories.

In the US, experts are developing a wearable patch that can treat peanut allergies called the Viaskin Peanut Patch. After concluding its one-year clinical trial, the patch resulted in being effective and safe for children and young adults with peanut allergies.

Developed by DBV Technologies, the patch administers small amounts of peanut protein onto the skin. The protein then penetrates through the skin, which helps train the body’s immune system to accept small doses of the allergen. The idea behind the patch comes from results found in a study from 2015, which suggests that peanut allergies and its reaction can be minimized by introducing peanuts to children at an early age.

Technology meets preventative health

Wearable technology has attracted consumer attention through its best-known capabilities: fitness tracking and step counting. We’ve seen such products in the form of smartwatches and fitness glasses, which have been shown to be helpful to consumers looking to improve their health and better manage it. In fact, Mintel’s research reveals that three in five US consumers say that it is worth paying more for products that help improve their health and two in five say that there is always more that they could do to be healthy.

As such, we’re seeing consumers embrace wearable technology in pursuit of living a healthy lifestyle. Brands are seeing this too. For this reason, we’ve seen companies start to explore new ways of leveraging wearable technology, especially in the practice of preventative health. For example, we’ve seen wearables that can detect signs of serious health issues, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and multiple sclerosis. We’ve also seen wearables that can monitor users’ heart rate, sleeping patterns, autistic stress levels, breathing rate and lactate production.

What we think

As consumers are becoming more aware and knowledgeable about their health, they’re increasingly looking to gain access to their own health status. Furthermore, they’re looking to be able to prevent and control as much of their health as possible. Thus, brands that can explore how wearable devices can play a role in the detection and management of more advanced health conditions will be the ones to create groundbreaking advances in the industry; ones that can potentially change and help consumers’ lives.

Iliana Alvarenga is the Trends Analyst for North America and a member of the Global Trends team at Mintel. She identifies and examines relevant and emerging consumer trends across all categories and provides insight as to how these trends can apply to different markets and channels.