Millennials are now the country’s largest demographic cohort, having recently overtaken the Baby Boomers. Ranging from about 20 years old to 35 years old, this group grew up in tandem with the digital revolution. Most don’t remember a time without home computers or the internet. They were early adopters of smart phones (and smart TVs…and smart watches…and smart refrigerators…). Their lifestyles are intertwined with technology in a way that no other generation has experienced.
A recently commissioned survey explored millennial expectations for health care; it should come as no surprise that they want their digital lifestyle reflected in their health care. Among the attributes that make health care visits appealing to millennials are online registration, virtual or video access to a remote clinician, mobile apps for making appointments and tracking health information, e-kiosks for quicker check-in, wi-fi access, and technology integrated furniture.
As Upali Nanda, Ph.D. explained to Health Facilities Magazine, “Structurally, technology needs to be nimble. Everything has to be connected.”
The health care experience – top to bottom – must be retooled to meet the digital expectations of millennials, from patient portals to hospital beds with integrated USB ports. The role of health IT in the broader category of health care is already large. But it’s sure to grow at an even faster rate as physical health care facilities become a greater part of the equation. Organizations that are well prepared for this shift by making investments in millennial-friendly facilities and technologies will have the advantage.
How else will millennials change the health care equation? Join the conversation by tweeting us @CNSIcorp.