Health insurance used to be about covering the cost of when we fell sick. In 2017 that idea has been turned on its head with an emphasis now on finding ways to keep us healthy in the first place.
In the first move of its kind by a health insurer, laya healthcare has announced the launch of a new healthcoach benefit, available to members aged 18 years+ at no additional cost from their next renewal or signing up.
The service is a blend of technology led personal activity and nutrition guidance, as well as access to a face-to-face consultation with a qualified Healthcoach who will design a personalised 8-week health programme encompassing all aspects of health including fitness, nutrition and mental wellbeing.
Sport for Business has embarked on its own eight-week programme after meeting with our Healthcoach yesterday as part of the launch.
The tests undertaken and the lifestyle questionnaire we filled out gave him enough information to set up an app on our phones that looks familiar to anyone who has used a Fitbit but which is tailored very much to our goals and current levels of fitness.
It complements existing activities you might be undertaking at a gym or as part of a team and adds in areas specific to you where improvements might be made.
There are six new dedicated healthcoach clinics open from today to accommodate as many of Laya Healthcare’s current 580,000 customers as want to avail of the service. There are three in Dublin, one each in Cork, Galway, and Limerick with plans for more to follow as the programme grows and develops over the coming months and years.
At each consultation, a qualified Healthcoach carries out a series of five non-diagnostic health assessments; blood pressure, glucose level, body composition, lung function and a fitness test. Using this personal health assessment, the qualified Healthcoaches create a tailored health programme encompassing all aspects of a person’s health, from fitness and nutrition to mental wellbeing.
These personalised health programmes are then delivered to each individual member through a dedicated healthcoach App, which is available to download via the Apple Store and Google Play and can sync with Fitbit and Apple Watch wearables.
Healthcoach continuously monitors progress and motivates members with new challenges and healthy rewards from leading national retailers including Lifestyle Sports, Eason and Deliveroo.
“This is an exciting departure for us as a health partner to our 580,000 members,” said Laya Healthcare Managing Director Dónal Clancy.
“We’ve spent over a year in planning and testing, and we’re thrilled today to finally unveil our new healthcoach benefit to the world and open bookings for consultations with our Healthcoaches.”
“With healthcoach, we want to empower our members to live and feel better, every day. It’s about giving them the tools to achieve long-term healthy change and hit their goals, whether that’s losing weight, getting fit, or reducing stress.”
“Healthcoach is easy and intuitive to use, and I think what will really impress people is its personalisation.”
“Our members will get a chance to choose their own Healthcoach, who will provide a tailored health programme to help them stay healthy and find the energy, motivation and information to make the right choices for them every day, with full digital support to allow them to keep track of their progress and earn rewards for their efforts.”
“We hope it will be a game-changer for laya healthcare and demonstrate to our members our ongoing commitment of ‘Looking After You Always’.”
The programme will develop over time as customers give feedback on what they like and what they don’t. It is a major investment by the company but one that looks right for the time and for the increasing awareness of our own responsibility for health and lifestyle management.
It is likely that the company’s existing relationship as wellbeing partner to Leinster Rugby will also come into play as the programme grows.
Leading Irish personal trainer and lifestyle coach Karl Henry is one of the advisers on the project.
“The whole area of health coaching is exploding right now because people want more than just gadgets and smartphone Apps to track their moves, they want personalised mentoring and motivation to improve everyday health behaviours and achieve measurable goals,” he said.
“What impresses me the most about healthcoach by laya healthcare is the personalised support from a dedicated Healthcoach, delivered through tailored health plans that cover fitness, nutrition and mental wellbeing.”
“Having tried it, I can say with confidence that healthcoach will change people’s lives.”
Technology is no barrier to present and future generations of customer and a healthier base of members will deliver a return on the investment in the short term.
The inclusion of wellbeing elements relating to stress, anxiety, and mindfulness will also sweep away some of the confusion that exists around what exactly those terms mean and what we can do as individuals to help ourselves.
It looks like a winner. Now, what am I being encouraged to eat for my healthy breakfast?
In 2018 Sport for Business will host 20 events linking sport and business in ways that make a difference to how we all do such a great job