YourCoach Is a Behavior Change Agent. Digital Health Interviews: Eugene Borukhovich - image

YourCoach Is a Behavior Change Agent. Digital Health Interviews: Eugene Borukhovich

We’re in a renaissance of app-based healthcare, and health coaching is well-positioned to take advantage of this trend. In our final episode of Digital Health Interviews of 2022, we are happy to host Eugene Borukhovich — COO of YourCoach, former global head of digital health at Bayer, and cohost of the podcast “A Shot of Digital Health Therapy”. He joins us for a wide-ranging discussion about his career and his unique perspective on digital health and health innovation.


Eugene Borukhovich: a serial intra- and entrepreneur, executive, venture builder, speaker & board advisor with a focus on digital health. Eugene is a Co-Founder and COO at YourCoach Health. Prior to YourCoach, Eugene served as a Global Head of Digital Health at Bayer. He has also co-founded and sold a doctor-rating startup and a consulting company. Eugene enjoys running, writing, traveling, and spending time with his family.

As our guest is a well-known supporter of Ukraine, we started this episode by talking about the russian-Ukrainian war and its barbarity. Recently, for the first time in human history, NASA was able to change the direction of an asteroid that potentially could save our planet in the future. The whole operation cost was around 330 million dollars. On October 10th, russia launched the biggest missile attack on Ukraine: the estimated cost of that is from 400 to 700 million dollars. When someone is working on saving the planet, some fools are spending millions to ruin it.

Eugene Borukhovich: It’s all about humanity and doing good in the world. As we gonna talk about digital health, it’s also about our health and our well-being as individuals. Scientists are working super hard: starting from the pandemic to changing asteroid’s trajectory. There are evil people which don’t care about anything but themselves. It’s a mental health issue, because of one man’s mental health issue the world and all of us are dependent on today.

For his experience, Eugene worked for multiple companies and created his own startups: “I’ve been in healthcare tech for more than 20 years: prior to that I’ve been in fintech and entertainment industry. I entered it with Medco Health, a pharmacy benefit management company. At that time, I was a geek. One of the key components to all of this was a huge trigger in my mind I can actually apply my technical skills to help human beings, I wished started this. I’d never go outside the healthcare industry: it’s one of the most rewarding industries out there to me. I’ve spent about 10 years in Medco Health, I did my executive MBA there. After that, I had an idea to create a healthtech community. I was also running startups during that, but it’s a completely different discussion. With Medco, we moved with the whole family to Amsterdam. It opened my eyes and broaden my worldview on how the health systems are different.”

For more than 2 years Eugene worked for a Ukrainian company — Softserve — which is the largest outsourcing company in the country: “When I left Medco in Amsterdam, I actually started my own consulting company, which I ended up selling to Softserve. If you look at the kind of outsourcing business typically, it is very highly competitive. The goal for Softserve at that time was to establish verticals and to go more to the boardroom where a lot of decisions were made. That was actually the first time I was back in Ukraine to meet the current CEO of the company and make a deal. I felt that spirit; I remember landing in Kyiv, it really felt amazing! Here is the thing about Ukraine: there is a kind of Eastern European hustle. Everything is possible it’s just a matter of time and money. We have team members from Ukraine in YourCoach today, and we are working with Ukrainian firms and supporting this country as much as we can.”

Eugene Borukhovich was also the Global head of G4A Digital Health. This is a challenge-based acceleration program for startups created by Bayer.

Eugene Borukhovich: “By the time I was leaving there were plenty of startups you can work with without building your own one. But you should also understand new ways of working, new technologies, and the core business.”

According to Eugene, there are absolutely no mistakes in the way how any corporate develops: “If you look at any pharma company’s RnD spends compared to any of its digital innovation ones, it’s not even in the surrounding area. The point here is that no life-sciences company will shift its business model overnight. It needs lots of learning, especially when the hopes are high. I think pharma in the last 5 years and through the pandemic evolved as an industry. There are definitely more investments, and more understanding of digital health and what it means to the business. But we still have a long way to go.”

Let’s finally talk about YourCoach. It is a practice management platform that connects clients with all different types of credentialed health coaches in the gig economy; its mission is to make health coaching globally accessible by the year 2030.

Eugene Borukhovich: “My wife Marina (the CEO and the founder of YourCoach), when we were living in Amsterdam, went through breast cancer. In her own words, while the doctors saved her life, she discovered health coaching which allowed her to live a long-lasting and happy life. Marina became a health coach herself in 2018, and in 2019 she built an MVP to manage her own claims because there were no modern practice management solutions on the market. In 2020 we incorporated as YourCoach officially, and I joined her. The industry of health coach has been around for two decades, but only last 5 years it has started coming to a tone, there’s a lot of science behind it. Even if health coaching is non-clinical, we look at it as a kind of bridge between self-path tools and clinical ones. Health coaching can help manage, reverse, and prevent, but also help people be the best they can be. I called it non-clinical psychotherapy.”

It started as a practice management solution. Now there are 2700 coaches on the platform, practicing across 16 categories and hundreds of niche specialties. The quality of coaches is algorithmically validated, but then they also go through a quality control process. YourCoach is open not only for health coaches but for companies who are looking to stand up or augment their health coach operations. The first announced partnership was made with Twill (formerly — Happify Health).

Eugene Borukhovich: On the one side, we have the practice management solution, where specialists are practicing with their own clients. We are open to cooperation with companies and proposing additional work, showing them another path and quality control processes. We don’t teach coaches: we select the most awesome among them and the best results from their work with their clients. We should be sure that they understand the protocols. And then they are embedded with our APIs and widgets into our clients’ environment. It’s a seamless experience for them as well as for consumers.”

On the practice management side, the platform is rather transparent: “You have everything you need as a coach to work with a client. It’s setting up your practice and programs, choosing the most convenient method to communicate with the clients, and taking payments. We don’t monetize on that side of it. We have the first-in-its-kind Gamified Pricing Model, and we reward coaches for practicing more: the more practice they have, the less they pay.”

YourCoach may be considered a marketplace, but not everything is so unambiguous: “In a typical market place you need the supply side to feed the demand side. That’s why for the first 2,5 years of our company we focused on the supply side building trust and relationships in the industry. Once we got enough coaches and activity, we started talking about some additional work for them. They are amazing specialists, but they are not very good salespeople, it’s okay.”

In April 2020 YourCoach became a fully HIPAA-compliant platform. The company operates in States, and Eugene and his wife Marina cope to manage it from Barcelona and don’t see any problems in it. But what about competitors?

Eugene Borukhovich: “Health coaching is a bit of Wild Wild West. We are the only operating system for behavior change, powered by health coaches. It is a combination of practice management, matching, quality management, tech-enabled health coaching services, and embedding it into the clients’ environment. There is no one who is doing what we are doing today. Health coaching itself is more studied in a wellness space. As more scientists are coming in and, I think, reimbursement is coming in, we are expecting competition, and it’s good.”

And traditionally, at the final of the episode, catch recommendations for startup founders in digital health.

Eugene Borukhovich: “You need to build a team on the trust and find your core initial five. It’s also necessary to be very and very passionate about what you are doing in the digital health industry.”

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and share videos on the topic you’re interested in digital health. And we want to note that the war in Ukraine hasn’t stopped yet, so support Ukraine in any possible way for you.

Our previous episode was with Cristián Konstantinidis: Robotic Surgery Today and Tomorrow.


Alex Koshykov
Alex Koshykov (COO) with more than 10 years of experience in product and project management, passionate about startups and building an ecosystem for them to succeed.
Mariia Maliuta
Mariia Maliuta (Copywriter) "Woman of the Word" in BeKey; technical translator/interpreter & writer

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