Millennials now make up a quarter of all Americans, which means they are likely to drive what happens in the health care sector. Generation Y, as they are also known, grew up in a time when technology and the internet were taking the world by storm.
They have truly led the way with continuous connections with the rise of mobile phone and instant messaging and more recently, social media. The development of the internet means that millennials can accomplish almost anything at the touch of a button, and virtual healthcare is no exception.
The development of virtual health care
With millennials now in a season of life that they like to call “adulting,” they are beginning to make their own decisions regarding health care and how to take care of their families.
With many millennials opting to go without health insurance claiming that it is too costly, the health care industry has begun implementing new forms of health care.
The overall goal here is to implement a form of health care that millennials will want to use that could potentially work out more cost effective in the long haul. This is where virtual health care comes into the picture with the development of digital health care services.
Digital access to health care
With 92% of millennials owning smartphones and over 50% with tablets, this generation is most certainly a lot more tech-savvy than the baby boomer generation. As such, millennials are using the internet and social media regularly to connect with others and complete everyday tasks.
Many people from the previous generation X, are also interested in using the internet for a variety of things like online services and recommendations and even payment options.
Surveys have found that more than 60% of millennials are in favor of telehealth services and are drawn to the idea of video chats and mobile app booking systems in place of traditional methods for a doctor’s visit.
Furthermore, millennials are open to the idea of wearable devices and mobile apps to track their health data that can be easily shared with their doctor.
A range of health care sources
Surveys have found that a 41% of millennials trust that their physician is the best source of information when it comes to their health. With so many millennials not trusting the advice of their doctors and pharmacists, they are turning to alternative sources to find the information they need.
Thus, they are more inclined to conduct their own research online when compared to baby boomers. Millennials will search and compare various treatment options online and look for recommendations and ratings for hospitals and doctors to guide their decisions making.
With easy access to a variety of sources like medical websites, forums, social media groups, blogs and the opinions of family and friends, the virtual way of approaching health care could get somewhat overwhelming for some.
A holistic approach to health care
We have begun to see that millennials view health care in a very different way compared to previous generations. They look at it from a more holistic viewpoint where fitness and nutrition are just as important as using medication to fight infection.
Additionally, millennials are also placing a lot more importance on mental health as a part of their overall health care practice.
Having access to online resources to improve mental health has become a largely popular method for millennials to improve their overall wellbeing. With that comes the need for telehealth services that cater to patients wanting to attend therapy sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist via a video call.