diabetes in the news

Coaches aren’t just for sports!


Omada, a company launched in 2011 by Sean Duffy and Adrian James provides virtual “coaching” to patients with chronic conditions. The purpose is not to take the place of a clinician or a doctor’s care, but to provide support and prevent feelings of isolation that can accompany certain conditions and illnesses.

Since 2011, more than 50 similar coaching services have been launched, all using different approaches. Some offer software or apps to motivate, track and provide moral support for a monthly fee.

Using coaches in between visits to the doctor can help patients maintain healthy habits and assist with sticking to certain medical care plans. Making a doctor’s appointment usually has a wait time, while these coaching sites or apps are at a patient’s fingertips. In a world where everything is so instant, it is an advantage for those who want to better manage their health on their own time.

While coaches do not have clinical licenses or FDA approvals, it does provide a purpose to serve patients quicker and provide a more empathetic approach to managing the patient’s health. It is like having a personal cheerleader to help plan and relate on a different level.

It is unclear how quickly a coach can reach a qualified clinician or other healthcare workers in the event a patient has an issue a coach is not qualified to handle. Coaches are also not to be substituted for healthcare.

The large number of job opportunities seeking individuals to train and become coaches, tell us that patients benefit from having someone by their side to cure the loneliness that comes with certain conditions beyond routine medical care.