What was the inspiration behind SimplFit?
Recent trends in fitness such as strict dieting, crossfit, youtube athletes, etc… can portray a false picture that Americans are healthier than we really are. The truth is that only a small percentage of our population actually practices healthy exercise and eating habits. 79% of American adults do not meet the government’s national physical activity recommendations for both aerobic and muscle strengthening. People are busier now more than ever and having a healthy lifestyle can be expensive, time-consuming, and confusing. On the provider side, fitness professionals are often overworked and underpaid. Many fitness professionals work for large fitness chains and are forced to sacrifice their autonomy. We noticed this gap in the market. There is yet to be a truly open marketplace for people to connect with fitness professionals.
How exactly does SimplFit work?
SimplFit works similar to most marketplaces. We have fitness professionals (personal trainers, nutritionists, therapists, etc…) on one side and consumers on the other side. Fitness pros can connect with prospective clients and consult or train them through video. They can host one-on-one sessions or group sessions. Fitness pros will also have the opportunity to sell e-books and host health and fitness related massive open online courses (MOOCs) for people to join. Some examples could be a “Bodybuilding 101” one month course or “Nutrition for Athletes” for 2 weeks. SimplFit takes a 10% commission on every transaction.
Could you tell us a little about the development stages of SimplFit, both in terms of connecting with professionals and developing the app and software?
We started connecting with professionals both locally and through twitter. We want to enlist many fitness professionals because they—by marketing their own personal brand—can bring clients to simplfit to train. We started developing the web app using Ruby on Rails, but are currently looking for an experienced developer to bring on board to ensure perfection. Once SimplFit is up and running we will likely make plans to launch a mobile app.
Huge advancements are being made across the Healthcare industry with the help of new digital technologies, from fitness to medical practice. Where do you see SimplFit within the wider Digital Health industry?
There is a huge percentage of the population who aren’t “sick” but aren’t necessarily “healthy” either. Many of these people can’t afford or don’t have time for traditional training and fitness consultations. Others have fitness questions and they don’t know who to ask. SimplFit caters to these people who truly want to better themselves. The fitness industry is still relatively archaic. Companies such as LegalZoom and UpWork have streamlined and simplified their respective industries, but nothing has yet done so for fitness training and consultations. People are forced to pay large sums of money to “globo-gyms” for often times “cookie-cutter” advice. Many fitness professionals are slaves to these same globo-gyms. SimplFit is here to make it easier for people to get healthy. We also want to make it easier for fitness professionals to forge their own path and build their own brand.
SimplFit is based in the USA, are there any plans to roll out the product across Europe and the rest of the world?
Yes, in fact some of our fitness professional signups are coming from Europe. We would love to expand to the rest of the world. Doing so would expose people up to an extremely large pool of fitness professionals.
Are there any pieces of advice or wisdom you would care to impart to entrepreneurs or professionals who are considering developing their own digital health product?
All we can say is to be passionate about the problem you are solving. We have been fitness enthusiasts and into sports our entire lives, so SimplFit makes complete sense to us. The vision we have genuinely comes from the heart and it shouldn’t be any other way.