Creating a digital super coach that helps overweight people achieve sustainable weight loss

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According to a recent Eurostat study 1 out of 2 Europeans suffers from overweight; and 1 out of 6 is considered obese. Clearly, overweight and obesity negatively impact people’s quality of life and are often at the basis of other illnesses such as diabetes or sleep apnea. Yet, for many overweight people, achieving sustainable weight loss proves to be extremely difficult.

With the advent of smartphones and wearables, a new mobile health (mHealth) industry has emerged – with various apps and devices trying to educate people on how to lose weight and keeping them motivated. But existing approaches are typically restricted to tracking a single parameter (physical activity, for instance), which limits their effectiveness. Hence, the b-SLIM partners explored the creation – and effectiveness – of a digital super coach for overweight people that can work with any device to take into account a variety of inputs (physical activity, nutritional data, etc.), and providing truly personalized advice; a digital super coach to help people lose weight in a sustainable way.

The outcomes

  • Digital super coach and face-to-face approach are equally effective
  • Face-to-face coaching reaps the benefit of personal contact, whereas the digital super coach comes with a lower threshold and cost
  • ‘Blended care’ is the ideal way forward: a combination of digital & face-to-face

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b-SLIM (a multi-source online super coach for sustainable weight loss) is an imec.icon research project.

It started on 01.04.2014 and ran until 31.03.2016.

Project information


  • Yorbody


  • imec - PSI - KU Leuven
  • imec - STADIUS - KU Leuven
  • imec - VisionLab - UAntwerpen
  • imec - mintlab - KU Leuven


  • Project Lead: Steven De Peuter
  • Research Lead: Karin Slegers
  • Innovation Manager: Birgit Morlion
  • Proposal Manager: Barbara Weyn