WASHINGTON – Millennials see telehealth as a critical component of their health care, and providers and payers need to emphasize convenience if they are going to stay relevant in a changing health care industry, according to a recent report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
The report found that 40% of Millennials—those born between 1997 and 2000—consider telehealth an extremely or very important option to their health care. That statistic is not surprising to Catherine Jefcoat, a health care consultant with ECG Management Consultants.
“Millennial customers’ expectations are that health care will integrate to their current digital ecosystem,” she said. “Convenience is the biggest driver for them when seeking care, which is a shift from previous generations.”
EBRI is a nonprofit agency that produces original research on health, savings, retirement and economic security issues.
Experts agree that providers, payers and other health care companies that serve this generation will have to offer services that emphasize convenience and transparency of information, like an app or telehealth, to position themselves for continued growth.
“As these patients age and take increasing control over their own health care, or that of their aging parents, they will expect that same level of technology to be available from the health care systems they frequent,” said Scott Lomond, CEO of TokBox, a provider of live video platforms for health care, financial services and other industries.
With advances in artificial intelligence and precision medicine and an increasing understanding of the social determinants of health, technology in the home will become more important in everyday health and critical episodes of illness, Jefcoat said.
“Health systems can’t expect to stay competitive without a comprehensive strategy for engaging Millennial patients outside of their walls that includes the entire patient life cycle from first web search through to care plan adherence,” she said. “Technology is the only cost-effective way to do this at scale.”