For many people, weight management is a tough, very personal and frustrating experience. Some have spent much of their adult lives ‘on a diet’ and have usually read everything, tried everything and heard everything all before but have struggled to find solutions which provide anything more than short-term success.
The OurPath programme draws on the latest behavioural change science to support people to do just that. It combines a variety of tried and tested elements into one holistic package – going beyond just diet and exercise, it also looks at thought patterns, behaviours, sleep and stress management for instance. It is part of a new breed of healthcare sometimes described as ‘digital therapeutics’ – a variety of apps and services which offer evidence-based and personalised behaviourial therapy to address healthcare challenges.
The OurPath programme is fuelled by an experienced team of health coaches who bring their wisdom, knowledge and expertise to help people with setting and reaching personal weight goals by building healthier daily habits. And it does this by harnessing the power of the smartphone that 8 in 10 of us have in our pockets# – delivering an innovative programme in a novel, convenient and accessible way via an app.
Ahead of the start date, a recipe book and guidebook is mailed out and new starters enjoy a one-to-one introductory call with their coach so they can get to know each other. New starters are asked to take some preparatory steps including reading articles, clearing cupboards of ultra-processed foods and doing a food shop (basic shopping list provided) to make sure they are set up for success. Each Monday, small groups of new starters begin the programme together, and via the app, can begin chatting with their group and asking advice from their health coach.
The health coaches themselves are all registered nutritionists or dietitians, and the nutritional advice they provide is simple, effective and evidence-based. But the health coaches also bring a valuable human element to the programme: an understanding, encouraging voice when you’re facing the challenges and temptations that daily life throws your way; or a friendly cheer when you’ve have had success.
The 12-week OurPath programme is tailored around individual needs and is designed to equip participants with new knowledge and skills. The health coaches prompt and encourage their groups to read the bite-size daily in-app articles. These are designed to stimulate conversation and questions about topics, encouraging a deeper of understanding of how everyday habits and food choices can be used to create meaningful changes to health and wellbeing. Each week introduces a new theme to build on the knowledge and skills and tips from the previous week. Ranging from ‘reset your lifestyle’ in week 1; to ‘keeping your gut healthy’ in week 4; and ‘mind over matter’ in week 9.
Towards the end of the 12 weeks, the focus shifts to empowering people to come out of the programme not only with a richer understanding of nutrition and their personal health but to also sustain the changes they’ve made to their everyday habits for the long term. But the support doesn’t end there and for those who have completed the programme but still wish to have the ongoing support of their health coach after the 12 weeks, they are able to do so.
Weight loss progress can be manually tracked in the app or new starters can opt for the ‘Tech’ package to receive smart scales that automatically sync their weight to the app. Activity trackers can also be synced to the app, so that sleep and steps can also be tracked. Personal tracking data (weight, sleep, steps) is only visible to the individual and their health coach, and people can draw on the experience of their health coach to help them make sense of the inevitable ups and downs and make the connection between their behaviours and habits which are helping to foster success or are perhaps preventing it.
Going beyond ‘diets’
Roche Diabetes Care’s strong heritage has been built on pioneering innovation over the past 40 years and ‘digital therapeutics’ is undoubtedly an exciting new phase of healthcare revolution. So with both Roche and OurPath having a shared ambition to empower people to make sustainable changes for the long-term, the partnership was formed.
OurPath were announced as one of 5 digital providers of the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in November 2017*. The NHS programme is running in 8 pilot areas in England and up to 5,000 patients will be recruited over a six month period, and will be given access to the digital interventions for up to 12 months.^
The partnership with Roche Diabetes Care, will see the OurPath programme offered to the wider population at a much quicker pace. Anybody who would like to invest in building healthier habits for themselves is able to sign up for the programme online without having a GP referral, and thousands of people across the UK have already taken up the mantle.
Is it for me?
The OurPath programme focuses on changing everyday behaviours to support weight management, including changes to carbohydrate intake.
If you have any underlying conditions, remember to discuss any new lifestyle programme with your healthcare team before starting as it may not be suitable for every individual. It does not replace any medical advice you already received relating to diet and lifestyle.
Already having a TrustScore of 9.8 out 10 on independent review site Trustpilot, the OurPath programme is looking set to become a favourite with customers looking for a new approach to weight management. With in-your-pocket access to the latest nutrition and behaviour science, your own health coach plus support from others on the OurPath journey – it’s a powerful combination of tools to help you succeed. Perhaps OurPath could change your lifestyle, for good! www.trustpilot.com/review/ourpath.co.uk
News items and features like this appear in the Desang Diabetes Magazine, our free-to-receive digital journal (see below). We cover diabetes news, diabetes management equipment (diabetes ‘kit’ such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring equipment) and news about food suitable for a diabetic diet including a regular Making Carbs Count column. We just need your email address to subscribe you (it’s free, and you can easily unsubscribe should you wish to).