Technology has infiltrated (nearly) all aspects of our modern world lives. There is no doubt that we will be seeing more of this as time goes by. Businesses are using tech tools to grow and people are using tech to make their lives easier, better. While there is a thin line between a good and healthy use of technology and a damaging one, there is no doubt that the future now has a tech dimension.
While the early 2000s have been all about websites, the development of smartphones has led to a boom in the creation and use of mobile apps. A 2019 report by research platform GoodFirms shows that average users have 51 apps installed on their phones and use about 13 apps daily. Productivity (96.8 percent of users) and social media (94.4 percent) apps are predominant in people’s phones. The growth in this tech sector is undeniable. In 2016, the total revenue from mobile app downloads, advertising, and in-app purchases was $88 billion, according to Statista. The predictions for 2020 indicate a jump to $188 billion.
Dietitians running a private practice have also found a place for technology in their business. A website and pages on various social media channels are the most popular options. Online management software and mobile apps represent the next step for those dietitians and nutritionists that are looking to stay ahead of the curve. Making the process as easy as possible for your patients should be a priority for any dietitian who not only wants their practice to grow, but also wants to help improve the life of a growing number of people. Making your work more efficient is possible by using tech tools and investing in this segment with as much confidence as you invest in your knowledge.
Tech and Millennials
Millennials represent the largest generation of the U.S. workforce. Also, known as Generation Y, this cohort has practically paved the way for online growth. Millennials prefer online shopping, online bookings and, you guessed it, online appointments. The main reason is because their goal is to save time and invest minimal effort in such “basic” tasks. They use online reviews to make their choices, even for choosing a doctor or a clinic, and prefer websites that also allow online payments.
This is what they expect from health care providers:
- fast and easy appointment processes
- online card payments
- information exchange via mobile phone or apps
- professional services
- and all of the above at a decent cost
Gen Y is know for its cautious spending, particularly on health care services. Gen Z, the growing demographic group that is right behind Millennials, is even more familiar with tech. Gen Zers are true digital natives that grew up with smartphones and Facebook.
Looking ahead, in order to project the necessary level of credibility for patients that belong to these two generations, you as an RD need to show that you understand and care about their needs. This means speaking their language and meeting their expectations. While being an authentic and emphatic professional are important qualities for a dietitian that no tech can provide, using digital tools to mediate and grow your relationship with your patients should be an essential part of your business plan, so act accordingly.