What do milliennials think about mHealth?

A recent survey indicates that millennials, the tag given those aged 18-34, have a very different idea of how they'd like to manage their healthcare.

SalesForce, a cloud computing firm that specializes in customer relationship management (CRM), surveyed 1,700 adults all of whom have health insurance and a primary care physician (PCP) to produce its "2015 State of the Connected Patient" report.

The report found that, of those surveyed, 76% still use the telephone to make appointments with their PCP, while 25% make appointments in person, and only 13% use the internet or email. Asked about keeping track of their health data, 62% said they rely on their PCP for that, while 36% said they use electronic health records (EHR), 28% maintain a physical record of their own, and 9 percent don't think anyone keeps up with health records.

When it comes to reviewing health data with their PCP, 40% review health data in person, as opposed to via the internet (21%), by phone (11%) or by email (10%). Asked about how they get test results, 44% said in person, 35% said by phone, 17% said via the internet, 15% said by traditional mail, 12% said via email and 1% said by text.

Only a small number of respondents use electronic means to manage preventative care with their PCP: 7% by email, 6% by the internet and 1% by text. Of the rest, 40% said they do not manage preventative care with their PCP, 36% said they have such interactions in person and 14% said they manage preventative care by phone.

That changed when they surveyed Americans aged 18-34. This group, identified in the report as millennials, indicated they were far more interested in using technology as part of their healthcare.

Asked about the criteria they value in choosing a PCP, 76% said they consult online reviews from other patients, and 74% said they consider the ability to book appointments and pay bills online. When asked about using different technology options as part of their healthcare, the survey found:

  • 73% of millennials are interested in their PCPs using mobile devices during appointments to share information
  • 71% would be interested in their PCP giving them a mobile app to management their well-being for preventive care, review of health records and scheduling appointments
  • 63% were interested in proactively providing health data from Wi-Fi/wearable devices to their PCP so the doctor can monitor their well-being
  • 61% were interested in 3D printing for necessary health devices such as prosthetics and hearing aids
  • 60% were open to using tele health options like video chats with their PCP instead of an office visit
  • 57% were interested in "cutting-edge devices" like pills that would be swallowed so that their internal systems could be monitored.

More about the survey can be found here

Copyright © 2017 MD2K. MD2K is supported by the National Institutes of Health Big Data to Knowledge Initiative (Grant #1U54EB020404)

Team: Cornell Tech, GA Tech, Harvard, U. Memphis, Northwestern, Ohio State, Open mHealth, UCLA, UCSD, UCSF, UMass, U. Michigan, Utah, WVU