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ReachLink and Daruma Tech


Boca Raton's Daruma Tech gives ReachLink the ability to automate its billing processes and give patients schedule control.

They've really kind of been the driver on it and we kind of gave them our requirements. They've been great and they've exceeded all our expectations.”
— James Farese

BOCA RATON, FL, UNITED STATES, March 14, 2022 / -- Through its design and development of a custom web platform and database management system, software developer Daruma Tech is enabling ReachLink, a growing provider of online mental health counseling, to automate its billing processes and give patients more direct control over scheduling appointments and choosing or changing counselors.

This transition to a custom-built platform represents a milestone in the growth of ReachLink, which had outgrown the pre-built e-commerce and scheduling solutions it employed when first founded, said ReachLink founder James Farese. “We've been using kind of off-the-shelf software for the majority of our time in business,” he said. “We did that, really, because we didn't really know what we were getting into at the time.”

But as ReachLink’s business grew and its workflow evolved, Farese realized the solutions the company had been using couldn’t be optimized to meet their specific needs. “And I said, hey, look, I think it's time for us to build something proprietary that's specific to our business as opposed to industry software that maybe gets 80 or 70 percent of the way there,” he said. He added that while it’s sometimes possible to customize off-the-shelf platforms, there’s no guarantee that these customizations will be exactly what’s needed. “You got to put in a request and it might not even be on their product roadmap, and then when they do launch it, it might not be exactly what you want,” he said.

Because both ReachLink and Daruma Tech are housed in Florida Atlantic University’s Research Park, Farese was aware of the Daruma Tech team and its capabilities, and asked them for help. Daruma Tech worked closely with Farese to clarify his needs and vision as well as the best and most efficient strategies for realizing them. “They've really kind of been the driver on it and we kind of gave them our requirements,” he said. “They've been great and they've exceeded all our expectations.”

Among the new capacities the custom platform will allow are automated payments and the ability for patients to schedule their own appointments and change counselors without the help of a customer service representative.

Farese added that building a custom platform from scratch was also a more economical and practical solution than upgrading to a higher-capacity premade platform. “There's other software that probably could do more than the software that we use now does, but it comes at a significant price point,” he said. “And it comes with a lot of features that we don't need. For instance, it might be geared towards medical, but not geared towards behavioral health.”

Furthermore, he said, Daruma Tech’s platform is specifically designed to accommodate the new capacities ReachLink foresees adding in the years to come. “So, let's say we want to enter a new business line and do group therapy and not individual therapy. We have the ability to go build that feature, and kind of control the roadmap on that feature as opposed to being at the mercy whatever software vendor we decided to go with,” he said.

ReachLink’s transition to a custom platform comes at an auspicious time for the company, with Farese being recently named among the rising entrepreneurs on the Forbes Next 1000 list and ReachLink itself being recognized as the best place to work in South Florida by the South Florida Business Journal. This publicity, along with the streamlined operational processes and improved patient experience offered by Daruma Tech’s rebuild of ReachLink’s platform, will help the company further fulfill its mission of making mental wellness support accessible and convenient. “We're just happy to be in a place where we can kind of help people when they really need it,” Farese said.

Rick Griswold
Daruma Tech
+1 561-990-1625
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