The millennial generation, also known as Generation Y, is considered the most expansive population cohort in the world, with 79 million people moving into their prime spending years. Born between 1980 to 1995, this group is expected to shake the $3 trillion healthcare industry in a big way. As digital natives, understanding this generation and their affinity for technology will be critical in addressing their impact in healthcare. Their demographic already accounts for 35% of therapy received, one of the largest segments of the population in treatment.
Millennials Think Differently
This generation has always been surrounded by technology and as a result, it leads them to take matters into their own hands. Technology isn’t considered disruptive; it is simply the natural order of things. Companies like Lyft represent progress, going where the technology leads, more evolutionary than revolutionary.
Understanding how this generation thinks can be a large driver for change in the healthcare industry. By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be millennials. In 2018, they had a spending power of $3.39 trillion. Organizations need to successfully connect with the cohort to foster a positive reputation and build brand loyalty. Highly-personalized, digital experiences that offer access, immediacy, information, and collaboration are critical to building that relationship.
Generation Y is All About Prevention
Millennials are much more health conscious when it comes to preventative care. Health-conscious consumers are already tracking their steps, their food and water intake, their sleep and even their weight loss. However, Millennials still hold a large amount of skepticism for the medical community. Factoring in current out-of-pocket medical costs at almost 30%, Millennials are resistant to unnecessary tests or potential treatments simply because it is the standard operating procedure. Their goal is to reduce the volume of treatment by improving and maintaining health.
Engaging Gen Y with Mobile Apps
To Millennials, convenience, access, flexibility, and most importantly, communication are all essential to good healthcare. Most consumers want access to virtual health services. Nearly two-thirds of Gen Xers and Millennials would switch providers for the ability to book online. This reinforces technology as a baseline expectation.
Palak Shah, Head of Physical Therapy Services at Luna, explains how direct access can easily attract Millennials. “Millennial patients can receive expert eyes on improving performance and wellness/prevention benefits through direct access. Patients can seek physical therapy care without physician referrals in most cases. This allows ease of access, an improved confidence in the expertise that the healthcare industry has on physical therapists. The goal is to educate the community and seek out professional care. At Luna, our mission is to provide convenient and exceptional care. This, in turn, should allow the busy but driven, Millennials to seek expert care to keep up with their health consciousness trends.”
To engage Millennials, we need to switch to a technology base with easy to use and intuitive functions. By 2021, 50.2 million patients will be monitored from home annually, with BYOD connectivity preferences accounting for 22.9 million of those being monitored using patients’ own mobile devices as health hubs. While a broader digital strategy is necessary for any health system, mobile apps are no longer an optional component or add-on.
Millennials are keen observers who have grown accustomed to doing their due diligence at a push of a button. Due to sky-rocketing health care costs, they value health as a daily task. No other generation has put so much effort into being health conscious, ensuring that their optimal health today will prevent sickness in the future.
Millennials are substantially less inclined to engage in medical systems that are inefficient and clunky.