Most of us depend heavily on our computers to get through daily life. This is especially true for young people. The trend applies to all aspects of life, including seeing the doctor.
Fewer Millennials and Gen-Z-ers are choosing primary care physicians at traditional doctor's offices and are instead opting for easier solutions to meet their medical needs, according to Accenture.
Millennials, those aged 22 to 38, are set to become the largest living generation in the US this year. Generation Z comprises the youngest adults, ages 18 to 21. Raised on the internet, these two consumer groups are used to getting food, clothes, whatever they want, super fast, with just a touch of a finger without leaving their homes.
So it may come as no surprise that Millennials are nearly three times as likely to be dissatisfied with traditional in-person health care than their Baby Boomer grandparents – those aged 55 and above.
Sixteen percent of Millennials cited issues with appointment times, compared to just six percent of Baby Boomers.
Location is an even bigger problem. Nearly one-quarter of Millennials don't like traveling to the doctor, compared to just four percent of Boomers.
As to the effectiveness of in-person medical care, 32-percent of Gen-Zers felt dissatisfied, 12-percent of Millennials and just four percent of Boomers.
This information proves valuable for health care providers who are trying to reach consumers that are looking for a different experience, according to Rich Birhanzel of Accenture. "The key players in the industry are seeing the trend," he said.
'Doctor on Demand' is one of a growing number of tele-medicine companies for people who want to visit with a doctor without the hassle of driving, parking, or sitting in a waiting room. Dr. Ian Tong serves as the chief medical officer for the organization.
"That population is saying, 'I want to see my doctor right away, on demand, and I want to do that from the comfort of my own home,'" he said.
However, tele-medicine has its drawbacks. It relies on technology, which isn't always reliable. A poor connection or no connectivity at all can leave the patient in need. Plus, when doctors interact with patients on a screen they can miss non-verbal cues they'd pick up touching the patient and seeing them face to face in the exam room.
More invasive appointments, like a routine physical, require in-person treatment.
However, many young people don't get regular physicals. Only about 50-percent of Gen-Zers even have a primary care physician, compared to roughly 66-percent of Millennials. But 85-percent of Baby Boomers, like Daniel Neiden, do have one. "I like the idea of one person to tell whatever's wrong and then we go from there," he explained.
The younger population without a P.C.P. who don't use tele-medicine still have another option: Urgent Care facilities, which are rapidly growing in popularity, largely because of their convenience. The number of visits increased 125-percent in the last decade. However, people with chronic or complicated medical conditions could be at a disadvantage because Urgent Care doctors often don't have access to the patient's medical records and aren't aware of their complete health history.