Telehealth Perceptions: Millenials
Millennials have been found to be more technology-driven, health-conscious, convenient, and socially accountable than older generations. These principles hold true in the world of telehealth as well according to reputable research, market, and health sources. In 2020, 74% of millennials stated that they prefer telehealth to a primary care provider due to the convenience of technology and personalized, real-time communication, streamlined treatment, and social and corporate responsibility. Details of our findings have been provided below.
Key Perceptions And Attitudes (Summary)
- Millennials highly support telehealth services as an alternative to a family doctor or primary care provider.
- Millennials appreciate telehealth services that offer services such as texting and video conferencing because it makes the interactions feel personalized and convenient.
- Millennials use several sources to make informed decisions on what service to select for their telehealth appointments including reviews, offerings, and ratings.
- Millennials use telehealth as a way to streamline their healthcare straight to specialists in order to receive the care they need both quickly and effectively.
- Millennials use telehealth to inform healthcare decisions for themselves, their children, and their parents.
- Millennials chose their telehealth providers based on social responsibility and diversity as well as services offered.
- Millennials are concerned about privacy and security in telehealth.
- The most prominent opinion that millennials have for telehealth services in the United States is not only support for the service, but demand for it. According to research conducted by WELL Data Analytics Team and Amwell's Telehealth Index, millennials have been showing interest in telehealth services for several years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Immediately following the onset of the pandemic, around 80% of all appointments were canceled. At the time, individuals under the age of 40 had the highest adoption rate of telehealth services. In addition, throughout the pandemic, millennials scheduled an average of 20% of all appointments through telehealth services which was almost double any other age group.
- One of the features that millennials looked for in telehealth services in 2020 was "real-time, personalized and two-way communication."
- A study conducted by the University of Central Florida analyzed 72 articles published by health and science experts relating to millennials and telehealth. The study found that millennials are the most likely age group to fully adopt telehealth medicine for use of mild to moderate symptomatic conditions. The main drivers of these findings are that millennials are more knowledgeable about technology use, appreciate the "convenience and timeliness of care, as well as trust in the provider established through web-based reviews and ratings offered by other telehealth users."
- Millennials were also exposed to direct-to-consumer advertising for pharmaceutical products at a younger age than other age groups. This means that they were encouraged to play an active and influential role in modern medicine. This can be seen in behavioral changes following the AIDS outbreak and the opioid crisis with the demand for more information and accurate care in the health field.
- Millennials are more likely to trust telehealth services than Gen X or Baby Boomers due to their trust in technology as well as their knowledge of how to troubleshoot, problem-solve, collaborate, and integrate technology.
- In a survey of millennials and Gen X, it was found that millennials' views on the perceived usefulness, customer experience, and usage frequency were exponentially higher than Gen Z showing 0.901:0.048, 0.83:0.049, and 4.248:0.243, respectively. The study states that the most likely reason for this difference is that millennials do not relate the usefulness of technology or ease of use to the value or experience of the product, in this case, telehealth.
- While support for telehealth is strong among millennials, they are still concerned about what it means in a digital age. According to research published by Business Wire, 40% of millennials are concerned about data security and privacy in telehealth.
- Technology is only part of what drives millennials to seek telehealth options. Millennials view the benefits of telehealth as necessary due to being focused on getting the specialized care that they need as fast as possible. According to a study from 2017, 40% of millennials supported the use of telehealth compared to 74% in 2020 that stated that telehealth is the preferred method of initial doctor visits.
- According to a study conducted by Harvard, millennials view a primary care provider as an unnecessary stepping stone on the way to getting the care that they need. Instead, they would prefer to cut out the middle man and start their care with the specialists that can treat them. This means using telehealth in the place of their primary care provider.
- NCBI published a study in 2020 about patient relationships with technology i.e. telehealth. In the study, it is mentioned that millennials have been labeled as the "most health-conscious generation." The publications states that ignoring the generational differences in the telehealth market would be a "serious oversight."
- In addition, the study stated that millennials have influence over the health decisions of other generations including their children and parents ranging from Gen Z to Baby Boomers.
- It also states that changes such as telehealth are necessary due to the generational differences in experience and necessity. This includes generations growing up with working parents or single parents and having no stability in the job market, retirement, and societal changes as opposed to their non-technological counterparts (baby boomers) that were not in need of convenience in healthcare.
- Research on millennials' use of telehealth has also shown that because they are so health-focused they rely heavily on the customization options in telehealth, particularly, communication channels due to the wide variety of available technology when it comes to communication, personal need, and preference.
- In addition, the freedom to choose what healthcare they are receiving may impact millennials' support for telehealth with 60% stating that proximity to a healthcare provider greatly influences their decision when choosing a provider which contradicts their otherwise health-conscious behavior.
Social Responsibility And Diversity.
- According to research from Brookings Institution, millennials are considered "independent, entrepreneurial, economically optimistic, culturally skilled, globally oriented, demonstrating positive social habits, and valuing diversity."
- It is a widely accepted fact from almost all academic, medical, and scientific sources that a key consideration for millennials when selecting any service, especially healthcare, is the company or brand's social and corporate responsibility and response to diversity. One of the key drivers of this issue is that millennials are the most diverse age group in America with 44% belonging to a minority or ethnic group.
- Millennials have been found to "value community, technology, and prosperity." This means that not only do millennials put value on working with individuals that share their moral and ethical beliefs, but they also put value in choosing a healthcare provider, system, or brand that recognizes cultural and racial differences in terms of health conditions and treatment.
- NCBI ranked social elements during the customer journey with healthcare providers as having the same importance to millennials as cognitive, physical, and mental elements.
- Research shows that telehealth services support the desire for social responsibility and diversity by providing support for ethnic and cultural competency, cultural factors in virtual visits, language differences, social sensitivity and identity topics, and ADA considerations.