Gain Life launches ManUp, online weight loss coaching for men

By Aditi Pai
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CHCF Smartphones in Health Care ReportBoston-based digital health startup Gain Life has launched its first offering, ManUp Health, which is an online weight loss program designed for men.

ManUp Health was founded by three former Procter & Gamble employees who found that there weren't weight loss services designed specifically for men. A Fortune article this past January noted that about 90 percent of Weight Watchers members are women, for example.

"Research shows that most men want to be in better shape, but they don’t want to lose weight following a program that makes them feel like less of a man (or feels like it’s for women) in either its branding or service experience," the website explains. "This is an issue since most weight loss products/services are designed for women, despite the fact that [about] 8.5 million more men than women in the U.S. are overweight or obese, suffer more severe chronic conditions and have higher casualty rates for all leading causes of death." 

Users who want to sign up for ManUp first complete an online assessment that analyzes the user's behaviors and values. They are then matched with a coach that fits their preferences, for example whether the user wants a male or female coach and what coaching style they prefer. Users are given an activity and nutrition plan to follow and as the user completes the program, they can communicate with their coach via video, phone, text, and email. Coaching is available in Spanish and English. ManUp says the program will help users lose eight to ten pounds in the first two weeks and 20 to 40 pounds by the end of 16 weeks.

The weight loss program is based on research conducted at University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center.

The services costs about $100 per month for the first 16 weeks, then $15 or $30 per month after that to receive ongoing support. ManUp is also available as a service employers and payors could offer their employees or members. If a BtoB client subsidizes at least half of the cost of the program, they then receive outcomes-based pricing.

While the company emphasizes that the program will also work for women, Gain Life explains that they plan to offer a women-specific program in the future that is personalized for women's mindset and needs.

While ManUp's site is responsive it currently does not offer native smartphone apps, but CEO Sean Eldridge told BostInno they plan to eventually build apps for iOS and Android devices. One of the company's advisors, Tom Futch, previously worked at Weight Watchers, Jawbone, and Medtronic.

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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly checks out the Microsoft HoloLens aboard a space station on February 20, 2016. The device is part of NASA's project Sidekick, which is exploring the use of augmented reality to reduce crew training requirements and increase the efficiency with which astronauts can work in space. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)