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Top 5 Technology Trends for 2013

This instalment of RMT Tech Talk will review the “Top 5” RMT office technology trends that we observed as showing strong growth amongst RMT practices in 2012 and that are continuing to escalate in their utility for massage therapy practitioners for 2013.


December 27, 2012
By Jessica Foster


Topics

This instalment of RMT Tech Talk will review the “Top 5” RMT office technology trends that we observed as showing strong growth amongst RMT practices in 2012 and that are continuing to escalate in their utility for massage therapy practitioners for 2013.

1. A MOVEMENT TOWARD SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE, OR ON-DEMAND SOFTWARE
RMT practice management systems are moving away from locally installed desktop applications to web-hosted applications that are accessed over the Internet. The industry is moving in this direction because specialized solution providers have achieved price points that RMTs (as well as chiropractors, physiotherapists and related health-care professionals) deem highly cost-effective.

These services not only provide access to the practice management software RMTs require, they can also include regular data backups and software upgrades as they become available.

One major advantage of on-demand software is that RMTs can access and manage their clinic data and appointment requests remotely, from anywhere, at any time. For example, if an RMT wants to complete his/her SOAP notes for the day after hours, or view upcoming appointments from home, they can do so. This is especially beneficial for therapists who work in multi-location environments. The ability to confirm appointments and view the schedule in a timely manner is of paramount concern.

Therapists understand that they are in a competitive business environment, where adoption of technology can save them time and make them money – rather than cost them money – and thereby put them ahead of the competition.

2. THE MOVE TO CONSOLIDATED SERVICES
Prior to 2012, many RMTs used vendor-specific and separate solutions to manage specific parts of their practice. That is, they’d employ one solution for SOAP notes, another for online bookings, another for client contact management, another for invoicing, another for client communications, and the list goes on.

Needless to say, learning and using multiple software programs is cumbersome, awkward, expensive and highly user-inefficient.
By contrast, in 2012 RMTs came to realize there are substantial benefits to incorporating a system that combines all these tools in a single solution. This is typically more affordable, and much easier to manage, compared to the cost of getting each function from different suppliers.

3. WEBSITES FOR BUSINESS GROWTH
Massage therapists, in general, have been late in adopting websites to promote their business. Last year appears to have been a turning point for this – a large number of massage therapists developed websites in 2012 to inform, educate and draw new clients to their practices. As a trend, RMTs are meeting patient demands with websites that integrate online scheduling and other client/revenue generating business management resources.

4. TABLET ADOPTION
 For both in-clinic and mobile therapy usage, tablets have entered the mainstream for massage therapists. From the practitioner’s viewpoint, tablets are less expensive and more convenient than traditional laptops. They are lightweight, provide access to the Internet and are compatible with advanced RMT practice management software services. In 2012, a proliferation of vendor offerings became an important factor both for adopting the use of tablets and for implementing “software as a service” solutions.

5. MOBILE SMARTPHONE TECHNOLOGY
Amongst the public, smartphones accounted for a huge percentage of cellphone acquisition in 2012 and this is expected to continue through 2013. What this means to RMTs is that a very rapidly growing mobile client base is using smartphones to find practitioners, book appointments and receive reminders. RMTs are catering to these evolving client needs with a mobile-accessible website and associated online booking service.

 Therapists themselves are also using their own smartphones to manage parts of their day-to-day practice management activities through mobile-friendly management systems.

IN SUMMARY
Massage therapists are seeing and believing that business technology plays an increasingly important role in managing, maintaining and expanding their clientele.  Increased pressures from new local competitors, franchise-type outlets and multi-discipline clinics have raised the technology bar for RMTs.

Consumer demand for value-added online services from their health-care practitioners is a trend that cannot be ignored.


MindZplay Solutions is a provider of massage therapy websites and online practice management solutions. To learn more about mindZplay, visit us at www.massagemanedger.com or call toll free 888-373-6996.


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