Gen Z is a game changer for the healthcare industry, bringing a whole new set of expectations. Being the first generation to be born into a world with the internet, smart devices and apps, they have their unique expectations for how healthcare should be delivered. Convenience and accessibility play an important role.
According to Pew Research, anyone born between 1997 and 2012 (ages 11 to 26 in 2023) belongs to Gen Z generation. They’re considered the most diverse and best-educated generation thus far, growing up in an age dominated by technology and social media. This relationship with technology influences how Gen Z relates to healthcare.
“Generation Z is known among their predecessors for demanding difference: different workplace norms, different social initiatives, different technological approaches. They’ll want a different healthcare industry, too, as many literally wear their health metrics on their sleeve.
Members of Gen Z are tracking their health with apps and wrist watches, seeking out supplements and prioritizing physical exercise. But they are also prone to social media misinformation and struggle with mental illness at higher rates”, according to a recent report from management consulting firm Oliver Wyman.
Convenience and accessibility play an important role in Gen Z’s interaction with the healthcare industry. Apps and websites need to be mobile-friendly to interact with providers as this generation is far less likely to be on a desktop computer.
While there are some aspects of convenience appearing in the healthcare industry, such as online appointment booking, pharmacy services, or text appointment reminders, those services are still in their early stages.
What’s really interesting is that More than half of Gen Z would share their health information in exchange for lower healthcare prices. Their views on privacy and trust in the digital world are completely different from the older population.
Hospital and health systems are increasingly using TikTok, the video-centric social media platform, which is a popular app for Americans under 35 years old, to reach their patients “where they are.”
“With 40 percent of social media users finding information on TikTok over Google as a search engine, we saw the opportunity to meet consumers where they are to provide relevant and important information,” according to Christine Kotler, chief marketing and communications officer at Coral Gables-based Baptist Health South Florida.
Gen Z doesn’t know a world without Google. It is the first generation to grow up surrounded by digital devices, and they expect their health benefits to be digital, too. They have their unique expectations for how healthcare should be delivered.
Finding ways to communicate with Gen Z in their preferred modes can help keep them engaged. Healthcare needs to adapt to younger generations’ demands by delivering virtualized and automated patient experience.