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3 Digital Health Trends Among Millennial and Gen Z Healthcare Consumers

Millennial looking at her phone

Digital health is a growing sector that continues to resonate with the youngest generations, Gen Z and Millennials. While COVID-19 accelerated the trend, it can’t be ignored now that many generations are utilizing these tools.

But one thing that stands out about these two generations is that technology has been a big part of their lives. For Gen Z, it is all they know entirely. These generations are also either entering their healthcare consumer journey or are in the early stages of it. They represent what the future of the industry looks like and can reveal what trends are on the way.

Based on 2022 PatientBond market research data, here are 3 digital health trends that stand out among Millennials and Gen Z.

1.) They Follow Health and Wellness Influencers and Experts on Social Media.

Many younger people are turning to social media to find health and wellness information from influencers and experts. PatientBond market research found that Millennials are statistically more likely than any other generation to turn to Facebook and Twitter for this information while Gen Z leans toward TikTok.

Follow Health and Wellness

Influencers/Experts on Social Media

General Population

(n=5000)

Gen Z

Millennial

Facebook

26.8%

27.1%

43.8%

TikTok

11.6%

28.9%

18.4%

Twitter

12.8%

17.8%

23.2%

YouTube

23.1%

36.3%

37.7%

Providers and insurers may be interested in pursuing this option to reach their patients and members through influencers such as wellness and fitness coaches and experts like doctors, nurses, physicians, dieticians, psychologists and surgeons. But, it’s important to proceed with caution and seek partnerships that abide by the same equity and privacy standards of the provider or insurer.

When pursuing these partnerships, determine if the influencer or expert is the right person to speak as a representative of the organization. Is their niche a good fit for the organization and will it help achieve growth and patient/member health outcome goals? Are there any drawbacks that could negatively impact reputation? These are important questions to ask before pursuing any partnership, but once these questions have been addressed, create an agreement on the partnership terms, conditions and guidelines and specify what will be asked of the influencer or expert to avoid any hiccups along the way.

2.) They like Digital Content for Health Information and Education.

It’s no surprise that younger healthcare consumers like getting their healthcare information and education from digital sources. In PatientBond’s 2022 market research study, Millennials and Gen Z are statistically more likely than any other generation to prefer getting their healthcare content information and education from online sources including apps, blogs and live online and in-person events.

Type of Healthcare Content Prefer to Get Information/Education

General Population

(n=5000)

Gen Z

Millennial

Available on an app

15.3%

18.5%

23.3%

Blog

6.4%

12.5%

10.2%

Live Event (In-Person)

11.9%

14.9%

14.0%

Live Event (Online)

8.4%

13.0%

12.8%

Providers and insurers can use this to their advantage since much of this content works well together. For instance, a blog on the importance of using broad-spectrum sunscreen could be posted on a patient or member’s health app through the provider or insurer. Live in-person and online events can be advertised on these same content platforms and shared online. Knowing that these generations look to social for health information and education, it’s only more of a reason to focus efforts here.

3.) They Use Plenty of Technologies to Manage Their Health.

There are a variety of tools Gen Z and Millennials use to manage their health. According to PatientBond’s 2022 market research, when asked what technologies they have used in the last 12 months to manage their health, Gen Z and Millennials are statistically more likely to use the following technologies than other generations:

  • Remote Monitoring
  • Virtual Assistant Artificial Intelligence
  • Texting with a healthcare provider
  • Genetic Testing
  • Smartphone health or fitness app.

For some of these (remote monitoring and genetic testing), Gen Z is statistically more likely than everyone, including Millennials, to use these tools. But when it comes to using a smartphone health or fitness app, Millennials are statistically more likely than everyone to use it. Millennials are also statistically more likely than any of the generations to use more technologies on average.

Digital Health is Becoming a Large Part of the Healthcare Journey

There’s a lot to unpack among these trends, but one thing for sure is that healthcare technology is playing a much bigger role in managing health among Gen Z and Millennials. It’s up to providers and insurers to continue to push for healthcare to encompass a digital approach long-term.

Interested in learning more about Millennial healthcare consumers? This whitepaper takes a deeper look at the Millennial push for healthcare consumerization.



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