According to a new survey by Harmony Healthcare IT, millennials prefer getting medical advice online to going to their doctor; 76% of the respondents said they used specialized websites like WebMD or news articles.
It highlights the current transformation of the healthcare sector. Millennials, who will outnumber baby boomers by 20m in 2030, are favouring retail clinics and telehealth for healthcare treatment. The online presence of traditional providers is also important: 65% said they only see doctors who can be found online, with 48% saying they would prefer to have a virtual visit with a doctor than an in-person appointment.
One of the main argument is cost: WebMD for instance, the first choice website for those surveyed, is free, which makes it the economically more sensible option, as only 35% of those surveyed set aside savings for medical emergencies, with 51% of those saving less than US$100 per month.
Analysis and Comments
The first thing that is probably important to note about this survey is that the respondents are American (which explains the emphasis on cost advantages).
However, a much larger study conducted by Accenture in February looked at four times as many consumers from all around the world and came to similar conclusions: there is a shift away from traditional care offerings, towards online alternatives.
Importantly, this shift was not only found among members of the youngest generations (Millennials and Gen Z), but also Generation X (the one after the Boomers).