MyFitnessPal acquires Sessions to add coaching

By Brian Dolan
05:35 am
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sessionsSan Francisco-based MyFitnessPal has acquired fitness coaching startup Sessions for an undisclosed sum. MyFitnessPal, a health and fitness data platform that now boasts 50 million registered users, is bringing the entire Sessions team onboard and, as a result of the acquisition, plans to begin offerings its users coaching programs.

While it has been in development for a few years, it's worth noting that Sessions only officially launched four months ago. At the time of its launch -- last November -- it also announced that it had raised "under $1 million" from SV Angel, Collaborative Fund, Blackbird and Joshua Kushner. The Rock Health alum pairs users with coaches who communicate with them via phone calls, text or email to help improve their fitness. In addition to helping the Sessions user develop a schedule each week for going to the gym or other physical activity, the coach can also keep tabs on the user via their activity tracker data from devices like Fitbit or apps like RunKeeper -- if the user gives them access or chooses to use such trackers at all. A 12-week Sessions program costs $69, $79 or $199 depending on the level of intensity.

Last June Sessions started enrolling users in an 80-person randomized control trial of its coaching program at the Mayo Clinic. The company had previously completed an internal pilot at Mayo last year. The trial aimed to track biometrics like A1C, blood pressure, and quality of life — among others.

“We started Sessions because we wanted to develop these prescriptions for lifestyle diseases,” Sessions CEO Nick Crocker told MobiHealthNews at the time. “We are also trying to deliver these programs with a level of confidence and proven efficacy that doctors will be comfortable with. So, while we are a consumer company, we are trying to validate the approach we are taking through our partnership with Mayo.”

By its count, MyFitnessPal has integrations with 80 percent of all wearable activity trackers and its API is being used by 40 partners. Sessions' CEO Crocker, however, said that the collecting of this data is just the first step for digital health and wellness.

“I think the next phase for people to ask ‘what is the most effective way to interpret and use this data?’” Crocker told MobiHealthNews last year. “It’s going to start to get really interesting when these tools will augment the next phase of the cycle, which I think is going to be all about effective interventions.”