Millennials are turning out to be the biggest proponents of telehealth services and mobile health applications. Telehealth services use technology such as computers and smartphone apps to connect physicians and healthcare providers with patients for diagnosis, referrals and treatment.

At nearly 80 million strong and growing in numbers,[1] millennials are the largest generation living and working in the United States. Born between 1981 and 1997, they are generally more tech-savvy than baby boomers. Millennials want easy access, lower cost and convenient healthcare services that fit their busy lifestyles.

Healthcare providers are investing in telehealth services as a way to cost-effectively broaden the scope and geographic range of their services. Accounting firm KPMG found that about 25% of healthcare organizations have developed financially sustainable service models for telehealth and telemedicine (technology applications for virtual consultations between clinicians). Healthcare providers find these services improve efficiency, strengthen patient loyalty and enhance management of patient volumes by filling in gaps in medical specialties.[2]

More than 50% of millennials are parents with young families.[3] Healthcare providers are recruiting millennials for telehealth pediatric care that can be conducted from the comfort of the family’s home. Services offered include emergency diagnosis, referrals, periodic check-ups and ongoing parental education.

Although the number of uninsured millennials declined to 11% by 2016,[4] 28% of millennials do not have a primary care physician, an additional 40% do not have a relationship with their primary doctor, and many postpone seeing a doctor due to cost.[5] Telehealth services can help millennials begin to build relationships with medical providers.

By not addressing their health issues in a timely manner, millennials can inadvertently trigger more serious conditions. Common health concerns for this generation are depression, obesity and anxiety, and 54% report diagnosis of a chronic health condition.[6] Telehealth services are proving to be effective in helping patients and their physicians monitor chronic conditions more closely and reduce the number of emergency room visits.

[1] “10 demographic trends shaping the U.S. and the world in 2017,” by Anthony Cilluffo and D’Vera Cohn, Pew Research Center Fact Tank, April 27, 2017. Available at: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/27/10-demographic-trends-shaping-the-u-s-and-the-world-in-2017/

[2] “A Quarter of Healthcare Providers Make Strides in Telemedicine/Telehealth: KPMG Poll,” KPMG press release, May 12, 2016. Available at: https://home.kpmg.com/us/en/home/media/press-releases/2016/05/a-quarter-of-healthcare-providers-make-strides-in-telemedicine-telehealth-kpmg-poll.html

[3] “Why Telemedicine and Millennials are Key to Each Other’s Health,” by Phyllis Sternberg Niner, Media Logic blog, Aug. 18, 2016. Available at: http://www.medialogic.com/health-care-marketing/blog/telemedicine-millennials-key-others-health/

[4] “Highlights: 2016 Millennials Study,” TransAmerica Center for Health Studies, 2016 report. Available at: http://www.transamericacenterforhealthstudies.org/health-care-research/2016-millennials-survey-highlights

[5] “Why Telemedicine and Millennials are Key to Each Other’s Health,” by Phyllis Sternberg Niner, Media Logic blog, Aug. 18, 2016. Available at: http://www.medialogic.com/health-care-marketing/blog/telemedicine-millennials-key-others-health/

[6] “Highlights: 2016 Millennials Study,” TransAmerica Center for Health Studies, 2016 report. Available at: http://www.transamericacenterforhealthstudies.org/health-care-research/2016-millennials-survey-highlights

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