Doctors have all had the lifestyle change talk, probably thousands of times.
We’re treating a patient with a lifestyle disease – obesity, hypertension, prediabetes. We assess the patient, evaluate treatment options and recommend a plan of care. Typically, this guidance amounts to better diet, more physical activity and less stress.
It’s a completely rational course of action. It’s the right approach to living healthier. But it just doesn’t take hold.
We distinctly recall instances of the lifestyle change talk with patients. Once, a middle-aged man recovering from a heart attack came in for an appointment. He seemed to understand the gravity of the situation, received evidence-based guidance delivered in a traditional way, and then was seen outside the clinic lighting a cigarette. On another occasion, a 60-year old woman was admitted to the hospital with high blood pressure. Because the traditional lifestyle change talk wasn’t working for her, the best treatment plan was to prescribe her an anti-hypertension drug… when she was already taking two.
We were trying to put out fires we would have liked to prevent, and we knew there had to be a better way. After years of research with leading universities and institutions and many real-world examples, we think we’ve found it.
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