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May 13, 2013

SKYPE News - New Remote Sessions Allow Teens to Skype Their Way to Better Health

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Recently, Linda Mandelbaum HHC, AADP, LE--who also reportedly goes by the handle of the Teen Health Coach--started doing something a little different. Some have seen this kind of move coming for some time, but for Mandelbaum, it was a bit of a new step. Mandelbaum recently began offering teenage clients the ability to use Skype (News - Alert) to take advantage of her health coaching services. At last report, the service has been so well-received that Mandelbaum has opened up the floor to remote clients all over the United States.

Mandelbaum's sessions allow for a variety of options that had not previously been available, either for Mandelbaum's clients or for Mandelbaum herself. Not only can clients discuss health and weight issues with Mandelbaum remotely, those clients can also get in on a variety of new features, like demonstrations of food preparation and cooking techniques.

Mandelbaum's sessions are available for those ages 11 through 25--meaning she's not just in the game for the teenage clients--and focuses on an approach dubbed the "Teen Wheel of Life" diagram to look at all the factors involved in a client's life to find problems that may not only have a connection to food, but may also be driving potential unhealthy behaviors as well.

In the program, the conversations can go from issues of family and academics all the way to more personal topics like goals and overall mood to establish connections to food. The program boasts ways to get more exciting fitness activities in place, how to express life challenges and goals via journal writing, and more. Mandelbaum can even send relevant packages as needed, like samples of certain useful grains or books better explaining certain useful points.

There were more than a few wondering if the rise of Web-based real-time communications (WebRTC) would generate, ultimately, what some call a "market for experts," in which many of the standard constraints of an expertise market would be pulled away by the growth of a communications system so readily useful that anyone with a Web browser could get in on the fun.

While Skype isn't really WebRTC, in that it requires a separate program to operate, it serves several of the same purposes. Seeing Mandelbaum's fitness coaching efforts make the move so readily to Skype underscores the value--and the ease--of making a migration to online communications for experts. Expertise can be delivered one-on-one to users regardless of location, and thanks to the improvements in video and the like, demonstrations and better interactivity can follow.

While Mandelbaum is likely to be followed by experts across a wide variety of fields, and has even in some cases been preceded by them, the market for expertise online is likely to only grow as the forms of contact improve along with the market.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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