Nowadays we swap textbooks for tablets, resumes for Linkedin profiles, a library trip for Google search. The 21st century has birthed a new breed – The Digital Generation, Gen Y, Young Invincibles, Trophy Kids, Generation Me, or as most call them – Millennials. We’ve recently completed a secondary trend study on Millennials as many of our clients are seeking to know more about this group.
Coining phrases like “Google it” or “Facebook me,” Millennials have never known life without computers and are projected to be the first generation to take the digital world for granted. They have a different perception of time, convenience and access, especially when it comes to health care. Rather than heading to the clinic, Millennials hop online to sites such as WebMD and Yelp. They are more likely to use the internet as their first go-to for education instead of a doctor, and are accustomed to quickly verifying facts and finding answers to their questions by themselves. 72% of Millennials have looked online for health information and 47% have used the internet to diagnose a condition. Sites like WebMD and Yelp provide forums for people to connect with others that have had the same condition or experience. They do more online research into treatments and providers than previous generations, and expect information and services to be accessible instantaneously from any and all devices.
In a world where you can earn a college degree online, deposit a paycheck with your smart phone or video chat a friend in Europe on the way to work – being “plugged-in” is not encouraged, it’s expected and the health care community is beginning to realize the way to reach Millennials might not be the Sunday newspaper but instead through online forums, email marketing and social media.
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