One of the many rumors I heard prior to the HealthKit and Apple Watch reveal was that Apple was working on a new section of its iTunes store, like the AppStore, but instead of apps the company would begin selling health and fitness coaching programs or services. That never came to pass though.
Last week, however, an app launched to do just that.
Boston-based Change Collective offered up an iOS app that offers behavior change courses ranging in price from free to $19.99. The initial launch includes five courses — each of which runs from one to three weeks — focused on becoming an early riser; finding work-life balance; managing bodyweight by working out; organizing your email inbox; and breathing exercise to lessen stress.
Instead of creating their own behavior change courses, Change Collective has teamed up with successful experts (who can bring their own audience) to offer courses on a wide range of issues, including health, wellness, productivity, and more. The startup hopes to scale up its five current course offerings to a catalog’s worth over time — into the hundreds or thousands of courses eventually. By leveraging Apple’s in-app purchasing feature, Change Collective has created a behavior change store within an app.
“Coaching is a good analogy — it carries a very high investment and also has very high impact, [and] on the other end of the spectrum is a [self-help] book,” Change Collective Co-Founder Ben Rubin (who was also a co-founder of sleep company Zeo) explained to MobiHealthNews in an interview. “Books aren’t quite ‘no investment’ but they also don’t have much impact when compared to coaching. Ultimately, what we are trying to do is take the techniques that work for great coaches… and get 80 percent of that [impact] using our technology. We’re never going to be as good as hiring the expert to work with you one-on-one, but we can be way more effective than a book and still be the price of one.”
Rubin said that his team views the world as having two types of expertise: subject matter expertise and behavior change expertise. Subject matter experts may know how to help someone get to inbox zero, the benefits of a certain diet, or how to help someone with a particular relationship issue, but they may not know how to best coach someone to execute on their expertise. Behavior change experts understand things like motivation, cognitive behavior therapy, and incentives. Change Collective — and its advisory board of behavior change experts — brings this kind of expertise to their partnerships with subject matter experts, who often do not have behavior change expertise. Keep reading>>