The generation gap is nothing new in social and political culture, nor is the lack of understanding from one generation to the next. The significance of the technological revolution and the speed with which it has transformed our environment is unique in today’s context. While previous generations have adapted and continue to adapt to this new frame of reference, millennials have been shaped and wired differently from the start. Technology is frequently viewed as a means to make existing processes faster, easier, and more efficient by digital adopters. As more millennials enter the labor force and consumer market, they will alter the what, where, how, and why.
As healthcare is undergoing its technology revolution, it must be with an eye to the newest generation of patients and caregivers. Understanding key drivers such as options and access to information will be critical success factors. Healthcare will be no different, meeting this generation’s technological needs more than ever, as much of our interactions have moved to the digital sphere.
Millennial Health Nowadays
The internet is often the first place many of us go to find information, and health guidance is no exception, especially among millennials. A survey of 2,040 millennials (ages 23 to 39) was conducted and discovered that 69 percent of respondents searched online for health and medical advice rather than going to the doctor, and a quarter of respondents trust Google to diagnose their symptoms accurately. Furthermore, a large majority (83 percent) conduct their research even after receiving medical advice, and 42 percent trust their research more than that of their doctor. Nowadays, with the peak of technology, the power of the Internet is redefining how millennials and healthcare are perceived.
Five Ways They Sought Healthcare Solutions Online
Millennials, also known as a person born as Generation Y, were born at a time when the internet has enabled them to access information from all over the world. They led the way in using messaging, social media, and mobile devices to stay in touch with people 24/7. However, as many of them were looking for work, the Great Recession struck. These experiences, combined with their sheer size, make them formidable health industry consumers. Provided below are the factors why millennial healthcare solutions are popular for these people born as Generation Y:
Digital Access to Medical Services
Millennials are more tech-savvy than baby boomers, with 92 percent owning smartphones and more than half owning tablets. Almost all millennials use the internet, which may only have access to through smartphones. In terms of social media, 82% utilize Facebook. Instagram is used by roughly half of the population, as is Snapchat. Millennials and Generation X members want to be able to access their suggestions, services, and payment alternatives online. According to a survey, 6 out of 10 millennials favor telemedicine, such as video conversations, over in-person appointments. More people want their doctor to provide them with a smartphone app for scheduling appointments, monitoring health records, and managing preventive care. Most people would consider wearable gadgets that send health data to their doctors, as well as medications that track vital signs after they’ve been consumed.
Cost and Supplies Transparency
Concerns about job loss or being furloughed may have contributed to the increase in visits to primary care physicians. With the prospect of job loss looming, they want to ensure that they have received a checkup in case they lose employer-based health care. Even though more millennials have seen a primary care doctor, as many as 43 percent reported ignoring a health issue, with 33 percent ignoring it for more than a year. A similar proportion had not had a checkup since the pandemic began. The most common reason given was COVID-19 safety concerns; however, more than a third did not go for a physical exam because they thought it was too expensive.
Millennials are more likely to be unemployed than previous generations were at their age, and they are concerned about these costs. In 2017, a survey of over 3,560 adults with health insurance was conducted. Millennials were the most likely across generations to report researching costs online, determining whether their insurance covered their care, and discussing treatment costs with a doctor. According to the poll, millennials are more likely than older patients to request an upfront price estimate. One in every two people said they would postpone or avoid getting health care because of the cost.
Various Sources Other than a Physician
Millennials have witnessed the financial crisis, 9-11, skyrocketing academic debt, and one of the most divisive and contentious elections in history, so it’s no surprise that they distrust authority. According to a survey of 41% of millennials, physicians are the best source of health information. Only one-fourth agreed that doctors and pharmacists provide them with the information they require to make decisions. Millennials are more likely than baby boomers to conduct online health care research. These relatively well-educated 20- and 30-somethings compare treatment options and research doctor and hospital quality ratings. They seek advice from friends, family, blogs, message boards, and websites such as WebMD and Mayo Clinic. However, all of that information can make it difficult for them to make decisions.
According to a recent survey, only 67 percent of millennials have a primary care provider, compared to 78 percent of Gen Xers and 85 percent of boomers. Many people questioned their primary care provider’s ability to handle complex health issues. As a result, most millennials rely on themselves rather than their primary care doctor to make medical decisions. The patient’s locus of control is shifting away from the primary care provider. Millennials find it absurd to have to wait days or weeks for a medical appointment. Instead, the survey discovered that roughly one-third of them sought care at a retail clinic in the previous year.
Despite their frequent use of the internet for medical advice, the majority of millennials said they have a primary care doctor, a 3 percentage point increase from 2019. During the pandemic, more than a quarter (28%) of these people established a new relationship with a primary care doctor. However, the proportion of millennials who had a physical exam within the last year (65%) remained unchanged from 2019. A higher number of primary care visits today may be explained by the increased use of telemedicine since the outbreak began.
Health is Holistic
To millennials, exercise and nutrition are as important to health care as antibiotics are to infection treatment. Their definition of health extends beyond the absence of disease. It also includes physical fitness and mental health. According to the study, a millennial is more likely than a baby boomer to participate in wellness programs, such as those that help people quit smoking or manage stress.
Connect with Them
Millennials, as the largest generation in the United States, wield significant power and influence over the future of cross-blue shield healthcare. The non-traditional care models and services they prefer are rapidly gaining traction in the industry, resulting in more digital options for business care, an increasing number of retail walk-in clinics nationwide, and an increasing number of providers offering upfront cost comparisons. The health care changes being driven by millennials are long overdue. Even with COVID, today’s patients, particularly a millennial, has become more informed and demanding. Their efforts to improve healthcare are benefiting everyone.
Millennials expect easy access to health and medical information. They want easy-to-use patient portals, digital contact with providers, clear pricing, and quick, convenient care. Despite this knowledge, many health care providers find themselves unprepared when dealing with millennial patients. Businesses and providers should strengthen their digital presence through websites, patient portals, social media, and apps to meet the expectations of millennials. They should solicit testimonials and reviews and offer patient-friendly information in an easy-to-read format. Transparency and convenience are extremely important to millennials, so providers should do everything possible to meet these demands.
Remove unnecessary industry jargon and complicated information from your website, and millennials will be much more likely to consult with your organization for their health care needs. Posting prices online, as many retail clinics do, will help build trust among millennials, assuming the prices are accurate. Online payment options will also assist health care organizations in keeping up with other businesses. Many primary care practices are responding to the desire of millennials for quick, convenient care. They are hiring more physicians and nurse practitioners in order to avoid losing patients to walk-in clinics. They provide digital channels for patients to communicate with them and make appointments. Telemedicine is being considered by some. Finally, health care organizations, groups, and businesses must embrace the digital technology that their millennial patients crave on a daily basis. If you don’t build stronger relationships with them in the way that new startups are, you’ll likely fall behind.