This is the third blog post in our #NHITweek series. You can check out the previous ones here.
Millennials’ preferences are shaping the new physician-patient relationship. A recent Business Insider article described how millennials currently comprise roughly 30% of the US population and their wants and needs are shaping a multitude of other industries such as retail, transportation, and healthcare. Millennials are a tech-savvy group interested in gaining multi-channel access to their healthcare just like they have in adjacent industries.
Millennials are interested in gaining insight into their health in order to take charge of their care. They utilize a multitude of devices and services to track their health including smartwatches and apps to report on baseline readings such as heart rate and calories burned per day. This information is typically stored in a cloud infrastructure for the patient to then view holistically at the end of a day, week, or month and track their progress. The quality of information coupled with ease of access is precisely what this new patient class is looking for in a healthcare solution. Once equipped with their own access to their medical history, they can begin to make changes in order to approach a healthier lifestyle.
The adoption of medical apps and wearable technology is a result of the overall shift in patient preferences in the healthcare industry. Millennials differ from their predecessors in that they seek out ways to mitigate sickness and weight gain through the use of health applications and self-monitoring. The key difference is that the millennial patient takes charge of the diagnosis and treatment of their health. They utilize tech to assist in the diagnosis and treat their diagnoses by adjusting their behavior from researching their diagnoses online. The millennial patient in the US is looking for ways to gain visible insight into their care alongside their primary care physicians.
The need for an interoperable health system is higher than ever with a patient class that is interested in getting health information when and where they want it. While the number of millennial patients visiting a primary care physician is declining, millennials are considerably more likely to view and interact with their patient portals and utilize their health care providers’ telehealth applications in lieu of in-person visits. Most millennial patients are very interested in the development of apps to monitor their health and directly report this information to primary care physicians.
The millennial patient is calling for healthcare as an industry to adopt interoperable solutions to meet them where they are. The road is paved for cloud health solutions to bring millennial patients even closer to monitoring and understanding their own health records whenever and wherever they need.