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Why AI Tools Can Assist, But Not Replace Health Coaches

Sandra Scheinbaum, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, Functional Medicine Coaching Academy, Inc.

Last month, Apple revealed that the company plans to release a generative AI tool called “Quartz,” which will utilize data gathered from Apple watches to create personalized health coaching programs for its users.

Generative AI has been advancing in leaps and bounds, such that an AI coach would have capabilities far beyond simply directing users to eat this (not that), sleep more and exercise longer. Rather, this AI would be able to ask probing questions to users, have “conversations” and work with them as a more-than-acceptable simulacrum of a human being.

Apple is not the only one venturing into AI health coaching; other companies are creating similar products. The proliferation of these devices may lead health coaches to wonder if their work will still be relevant and needed in the coming era. It’s a reasonable question, but one

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