Millennials Flock to Telehealth, Online Research
April 2, 2021 – The Internet is often the first place many of us go to look for information about hotels, musicians, or furniture. And health guidance is no exception – especially among millennials.
A new survey of 2,040 millennials by Harmony Healthcare IT in February (aged 23 to 39) found that 69% of respondents sought health and medical advice online instead of going to the doctor, and a quarter of respondents trust Google to accurately diagnose symptoms. In addition, a strong majority (83%) are doing their research even after hearing their doctor’s advice, and 42% trust their research more than their doctor’s.
“This seems to be a common thread to self-diagnose the symptoms that millennials turn to online resources or to conduct research into a disease they may have,” Harmin Healthcare IT survey researcher Collin Czarnecki told WebMD.
Provide reliable online resources
Harmony Healthcare IT conducted a survey similar to millennials in 2019.
“As a data management company working with hospitals across the country, we wanted to look at millennials, the demographics that many hospital teams work with, and this year we decided to re-examine millennials to see what changes the pandemic could bring,” Czarnecki said.
Going online for medical advice hasn’t changed much since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, although the 2019 survey found a slightly higher percentage of thousands of thousands of years (73%) to seek online medical guidance, but “that number remained fairly on par,” he said. .
WebMD was the most consulted online site. 71% of respondents used it, followed by news articles (27%), YouTube (26%), health apps (23%), FamilyDoctor.org (18%), Reddit (18%) and Everyday Health (16). it was to see people consulting Redditi, ”Czarnecki said. “It’s been a great resource for researching stocks, but it seems like people are also using it for health advice.”
Amir Lerman, MD, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Department of Cardiovascular Medicine for Breast Pain and Coronary Physiology Clinic told WebMD that these results have an important home message for health care providers.
“Consulting medical advice on the Internet is not disappearing and is part of the democratization of resources,” said Professor of Medicine Lerman. Studies have found that a lot of people online are so potentially aware of their heart symptoms. delaying health care to save lives.
“As physicians, we need to make sure that we provide the right online sources for patients to consult and that they are reliable and that they are not sidelined by commercial or professionalism,” he stressed.
Millennials prefer Telemedicine
Despite the high use of the Internet for medical guidance, 79% of millennials surveyed say they have a primary care physician – a 3 percentage point increase from 2019. In fact, more than a quarter of them (28%) have established a new relationship with a primary care physician during the pandemic.
On the other hand, the percentage of millennials who underwent physical examination in the last year (65%) has not changed since 2019.
Czarnecki suggested that a higher number of primary care visits could be explained by the use of telemedicine, which has been on the rise since the pandemic began.
“Nearly 41% of respondents said they would almost like to see a doctor, which is in line with the emerging comfort for telehealth patients,” he said. The pandemic-related social alienation restrictions also meant that more people staying home increased the time people could go to the doctor.
“Being able to talk to your doctor through a video platform, communicate with your doctor through a health portal, and arrange an appointment was probably the role that millennials had in their greater comfort in scheduling a follow-up appointment,” Czarnecki said.
Lerman believes there will be more virtual interactions, even after the pandemic. He said face-to-face appointments can be made “professional and effective”.
“Some work can be done before the appointment by expanding digital healthcare platforms and applications,” he said. For example, “we are doing some heart workouts at home using devices that can transmit some of the patient’s information in advance.”
The convenience of the telesante has also become more popular. A virtual appointment can also lay the groundwork for a face-to-face visit, as doctors and patients have reviewed the issues together and can decide together the time and nature of the face-to-face visit.
Impact of Financial Insecurity
He may have been concerned about losing his job or being fired during major visits to primary care physicians. “With the potential job loss in mind, they want to make sure they get the driver, in the worst case of losing employer-based health care,” Czarnecki hypothesized.
Although more millennials have seen a primary care physician, 43% say they have ignored a health problem and 33% say they have ignored it for more than a year. A similar percentage had no control since the pandemic began. The most common reasons were COVID-19 safety issues; but no more than a third went to the physical examination because it seemed too expensive.
“The economic factors associated with the pandemic have played a huge role in the relationship that millennials have with their health care,” Czarnecki said.
In fact, close to a quarter of respondents (24%) reported taking on new medical debt since the start of the pandemic, and 28% reported an increase of more than $ 1,000.
“Some of the interactions we don’t face are covered by insurance, and I think that’s going to grow. There’s pressure to cover visits and tests because they save time and money,” Lerman said.
Many millennials do not want to be vaccinated
Vaccination is a top-notch topic among Americans in general, and millennials are no exception. Only more than half of those surveyed (55%) said they would get the COVID-19 vaccine, a quarter would not get it and a fifth were not sure.
“Millennials said they wouldn’t get the vaccine if they didn’t have a primary care physician and also get more advice from a doctor online than through a medical professional,” Czarnecki said.
“Our data show that millennials have a high level of trust on the Internet to obtain medical information and disinformation, which can affect whether or not they need to be vaccinated,” he said.
Compared to women, a higher percentage of men were willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine (51% vs. 60%, respectively).
Czarnecki speculated that women may be more likely to be vaccinated than men, as recent CDC data show that women have worse side effects and more allergic reactions compared to men.
Lerman suggested that another factor, in particular, is that millennial women “may have major concerns about the impact that vaccines can have on pregnancy and breastfeeding.”
COVID-19 has changed the face of health care for all Americans, and millennials are no exception. “Overall, it’s important to look at the positive side of the trends found in our survey, especially the importance of telehealth,” Czarnecki said.
“Physicians should ensure that there are facilities for using technologies that facilitate patient-physician interactions, and that it is as appropriate and convenient as possible to schedule and schedule future appointments,” he said.
Harmony Healthcare IT plans to continue with millennial surveys to see if these trends continue as health care evolves after the pandemic.