Technology And The Future Of Movement Therapy

Article by Wellness Concierge™ Fiona Gilbert

The business of personal training and allied healthcare as we know it is coming to an end. Clients and patients are demanding a different level of care, interaction and lifestyle management, and they are doing this by voting with their dollars. Technology is making business both easier and more complicated at the same time – so how do businesses who work in allied health, personal training, physiotherapy, chiropractic, and occupational therapy adapt and thrive in a changing environment?

So… What is this emerging technological landscape?

We’re talking about items such as wearables (activity trackers like FitBit or Jawbone UP), quantified self movement (where consumers can now track all aspects of their daily lives with the help of technology), non-invasive biohacking, as well as apps, apps and more apps!

What is it doing to (and for) consumers?

There are two side of the coin here – there are both pros and cons to this technology rush for consumers. Pros include things like the ability to track everything – from what they ate to how long they exercised to how they slept, or the idea of self-care becoming front of mind and encouraging them to take their health and wellbeing seriously. However cons of this technology, like consumers not being qualified to properly analyse the raw data, or their growing irrational obsession with the data, also known as ‘The Wellness Syndrome’. A lot of this technology also has a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to their customers, which means that individual health goals are not truly met to their full potential.

How is this affecting allied health businesses?

Allied health businesses are divided into two camps here. The first is the “My business is growing because no app / wearable device / piece of technology can replace a human. I have integrated technology into my practice.”

The second camp is the “I’m losing business because technology has taken over and my clients say they don’t need to pay for my services any more.” Unfortunately these campers are in serious trouble. The tech ‘take over’ isn’t slowing down. But there are ways for businesses to adapt and use this technology to their advantage.

Most importantly – how can businesses adapt?

The key here is that all allied healthcare/personal training businesses need to assess where their businesses currently are and where they want to be. My key tips for businesses would be:

  • Your practice needs to augment your offerings without overstepping your scope of practice. Be realistic – align your changes with your business philosophy for a winning combination.
  • Take an interest in understanding emerging and existing technology to see what will best service you in the long term. Technology in this sector is not a drill or a fad. It’s here to stay.
  • Plan to provide lifestyle management. Be your client’s primary point of contact in managing their health and wellbeing. Provide the confidence and professionalism they need to succeed.
  • Embrace technology that is researched, backed by science, and makes positive impacts on the lives of your clients. One such technology for me is the Power Plate – it has helped me build a better business and stronger clients and patients.

About Fiona Gilbert

Fiona is the world’s first Wellness Concierge™ and is widely recognised as the leading medical fitness trainer of the San Francisco Bay Area. Having been diagnosed with a degenerative neurological condition in 2003, Fiona refocused her energies from growing her business consultancy to finding adaptive therapies to ensure her continued mobility. Today, now healthy and in the best condition of her life, Fiona has expanded the scope of her consultancy to provide real solutions and protocols to individuals also suffering from pain, chronic conditions and limited mobility through a wide range of complementary treatments. Fiona authored her PhD dissertation at Curtin University in Western Australia. She also mentors and invests in movement-centric startups that share in her vision of helping people live exhilarating lives.

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