Telemedical coaching at Provinzial Rheinland
Provinzial Rheinland is the first employer to give its employees the opportunity to take part in a telemedical coaching project. This project, designed by the West German Diabetes Clinic and Health Centre (WDGZ) and the German Institute for Telemedicine and Health Promotion (DITG), accompanies and supports people actively and pragmatically towards a healthier lifestyle true to the motto „get active – live healthily”.
Prof. Dr. Stephan Martin doctor and Medical Director of WDGZ has developed a programme aimed at facilitating the way to a more active lifestyle and a healthier diet for everyone. The project is called „Telemedical Coaching for the Treatment of Cardiovascular Risk Factors”. In practice it functions more simply than the title suggests. Every participant is given a pair of scales to check their weight every day, as well as a pedometer. All devices transmit the data automatically to DITG. Once a week each individual receives a 20 minute call from their personal health coach at the institute in which the findings are explained, nutritional tips given and the causes of any abnormalities discussed. Together with the participant, the coach draws up individual strategies and manageable targets aimed at integrating healthier habits into everyday life.
The advantage for the participants is the easy implementation. Lifestyle changes are supported by regular feedback sessions, advice and encouragement. The step-by-step increase in physical activity is graphically shown and can be accessed online by each participant. Initially ten places on the programme were reserved for Provinzial Rheinland employees. If the participants find the project successful, then its expansion is planned.
The programme was announced in the company in January 2014. Employees were able to enrol provided that they fulfilled certain requirements. What is decisive is, that in addition to a body mass index greater than 27, the participant has health risks such as high blood pressure, increased blood lipid levels or the early stages of type 2 diabetes. Preliminary interviews and mandatory examinations of the applications got under way during the application period. The coaching programme itself started with the first ten participants in February 2014 and is intended to run for a period of twelve months.