Millennials, those aged roughly 18 to 34, have grown up with technology at their fingertips. So when even cinemas allow you to book and pay for tickets from your Ipad, why on earth would you need to get stuck in a phone queue to book a GP appointment, or take a prescription to the chemist - BY HAND?
Young people are changing the health landscape - here's how.
Young people expect everything to have online reviews. If a service is unsatisfactory, you can anticipate hearing about it on Facebook, Twitter, and on the service provider's website. This in turn influences the choices of other young people and also attracts the attention of watchdogs and the media. A bad reputation is easy to come by.
Young people also expect choice. They can now, to a certain extent, choose which doctor surgery they use. They are no longer stuck with the town's only GP. This means they can look at which surgery is likely to provide the best service for them, in terms of availability of appointments, opening hours and more.
They want to use text messages, email and online booking to make appointments, and also assume they'll receive a reminder in this format. If their hairdresser can do it, why can't the NHS?
They look up symptoms online and arrive with challenging questions for their GP. Young people are informed, self-diagnose, and usually try to treat themselves before seeing a doctor.
Medical apps allow self-monitoring to the extent that tech-savvy millennials can take a week's worth of data to their GP for discussion. The diagnosis and treatment process is changing.
Young people are more informed about health issues, such as diet and exercise. Eating well, food ingredient transparency, and exercise programs are available online. GPs are most likely to be the last ditch option for a medical problem that won't go away, rather than for advice on a better lifestyle.
Millennials are changing the business of healthcare insurers, particularly in the States. They choose private insurance that is convenient and includes aspects of technology. They are more likely to look for cover that includes homeopathic care.
Dependable online clinics can provide advice and treatment for a wide variety of health conditions. Young people will tend to look for this service online first, as it's more convenient, less time consuming and less embarrassing.
Times are a-changing for sure, but what's still to come? Young people are demanding technology-influenced healthcare. Research shows they are looking for tele-health options, such as video chat in place of travelling to a germ-infested doctor's surgery. Another interest is in exchanging healthcare info with their doctor using wearable devices that transmit data.
For millennials who like technology, yes. It's hardly a wonder that young people are demanding change from their healthcare providers; as parts of the sector have seriously lagged behind in the digital revolution. Their views are important, but what about our aging population? Will they be left behind in the technological transformation demanded by a younger generation?
One thing's for sure, whoever can invent the most innovative healthcare technologies and influence young people to use them are in for their biggest payday ever.