China’s health and wellness market is expected to reach a value of around US$70 billion by 2020 as Chinese customers, especially those in cities, recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group. This trend has created enormous opportunities for companies focused on health-related sectors.
Shanghai-based startup ChronoCloud Medtech is a wearable healthcare solutions developer and manufacturer. The company’s first product RyFit is a smart body analyzer that can record and monitor ten major health metrics including weight, body fat, body water, body mass index, basal metabolic rate, muscle mass, and bone mass, amongst others, introduced Guo Hui, co-founder of the company.
The data collected is uploaded to RySmart system, the big data health analytics system authorized by Minnesota University’s Chronobiology Lab, which crunches the numbers and returns insights and health tips. Guo explained that the system is based on data collected across the globe, including Asian and Chinese people. Users can read all the states and tips through an app on mobile devices. Instead of giving unvarnished statistical data of calories burned or distance travelled, RySmart gives users more actionable tips, such as to drink more water or get outside and start walking.
The smart scale can track the health data of up to nine family members. It will sync the health metrics to the corresponding account of each family member automatically after their accounts being set up via RyFit app. There’s no need to take your smartphone with you when using the scale.
The company claims that RyFit’s detection accuracy for fat, body water and muscle mass is around 0.1%, while that for body weight and bone mass is around 0.1 KG. Guo noted that the health data collected by smart health devices can never reach the accuracy degree achieved by hospital instruments due to costs, but the significance of these data lie in their continuous and consistent nature, which will thus generate strong predictions on health tendencies and possible diseases.
ChronoCloud Co-founder Guo Hui Receiving Award for RyFit at The Makers, a Crowdfunding Reality TV Show
The device weighs 2.62 kg and measures 30cm×30cm×23.5mm. The classic version of RyFit, in black or white offerings, is sold for RMB469 (around US$73), while the youth market versio is priced at RMB229 and has more color options.
In addition to an in-house e-commerce platform, RyFit is also on sale at JD, Taobao and some offline retail stores. Guo disclosed that they now have more than 30,000 users since first launching in April 2014, while sales are at around 7,000 to 8,000 sets per month.
In June this year, the company partnered with Digital China, which will oversee RyFit’s consumer business. Through this partnership, the company can focus on product development and expansion into corporate market, said Guo. He explained their business clients fall into three categories: companies that purchase RyFit as commercial gifts, health-related brands, like dairy product manufacturer Mengniu and Beingmate, and health management companies.
Two other products the company is developing are a wristband that can track and measure your everyday activities, and a portable blood pressure meter. The wristband will target at the high-end market, according to Guo. He disclosed that the company is also preparing to tap U.S. and European markets next year.
It has been reported that ChronoCloud has secured eight-digit yuan Pre-A investment from Cai Wensheng, a legendary angel investor, and Trends Group. Guo said that the company is now in the process of raising Series A funding.
RyFit is priced very keenly up against Fitbit’s Aria scale which costs RMB1,198 (around US$195) in China. The U.S. health solution provider landed in Chinese market in earlier this year. Beijing-based health-tracking device maker PICOOC is RyFit’s major competitor in the domestic market. The company has raised US$21 million of Series B financing led by existing investor Gobi Partners and joined by Tencent and JD.com this June.
image credit: ChronoCloud