How The Pandemic Affected Telehealth Use Among Generation Z
After a period of steady growth, the demand of telemedicine suddenly skyrocketed. Since the pandemic, consulting a healthcare provider over the phone, via video, or text has become the new normal.
GenZ relies on technology for their daily needs and desires but after the pandemic they also shifted to telehealth. Gen Z has grown up in a technologically advanced era, and their outlook on the world reflects this.
The Increased Use of Telemedicine Post-Pandemic
When the pandemic forced us to hole-up in a small space and be glued to one screen for days, the only option was telehealth. Because of the high number of people infected with COVID and the widespread fear of contracting the disease, telehealth became the only viable alternative for people seeking medical attention in the comfort of their own homes.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call that demonstrated the value of telemedicine. Amidst the pandemic, telehealth became prominent, especially among the younger generation. The findings suggest that younger generations, like millennials and Gen Z, are more open to using healthcare services delivered remotely as opposed to older people. Telehealth is like another gig for them.
There has been a resurgence of interest in digital data that can screen and monitor high-risk patients without putting them in danger by having them frequent bacteria-ridden hospitals. McKinsey reported in May 2021 that the number of people using telehealth services has increased by 38 times since the days of COVID.
Gen Z and Telehealth
As digital natives, the tastes of Gen Z are quite consistent. People nowadays prefer online communication rather than face-to-face meetings because of its convenience.
This influences their preferences for primary care physicians, interest in wearable technology, and willingness to engage in telehealth. Gen Z prefers to connect online rather than in person and this translates to their medical practices too. The young are more likely to Google their illnesses before consulting a doctor, often resulting in the memes you see on social media.
A Holistic Use of Telehealth
By providing patients with easy access to their medical records through patient portals, etc., telehealth facilitates a more trustworthy method of therapy monitoring.
One survey found that 41% of respondents aged 18 to 34 preferred virtual doctor visits over in-person ones. According to the HIMSS 2021 State of Healthcare Report, nearly half of today’s millennials and Gen Z would look elsewhere for medical treatment if their current provider ceased offering telehealth services, suggesting a lack of relationship between healthcare providers and their patients. Evidence like this supports the idea that telehealth is a necessity but that it must adapt to people’s needs.
Since the pandemic finished, digital natives have started believing in and recommending visiting doctors in person. They believe some illnesses and concerns are better treated in person rather than through a virtual appointment. Since then, there has been debate about whether the outcomes of virtual visits are more beneficial than in-person visits.
Gen Z and Telehealth: the Future
During the pandemic, telehealth’s popularity soared as people looked for alternatives to in-person medical attention. There was a 342% increase in the number of calls that resulted in prescriptions and a 233% increase in the overall number of calls made during the week of March 13.
Telehealth’s tremendous growth since the pandemic’s inception is especially remarkable. VEB Ventures projects that by 2026, the worldwide telemedicine market will be worth $175.5 billion, with an annual growth rate of 19.3 percent.
Over the years, numerous studies have concluded that patients are open to communicating with their doctors via digital means. At the same time, many patients have reported being quite pleased with their telehealth experiences.
However, the survey also found that only 42% of people feel their current medical records are simple to access. Additionally, only 30% of people felt that their past records were easy to access. Access and information gaps will only get smaller as the younger generation connects more and finds telehealth the only way to go about healthcare.
The benefits of seeing a doctor in person are undeniable, but with the increased demand for telehealth following the global pandemic, the younger generations have shifted their attitudes toward it. More qualified individuals from Generation Z are used to educating themselves on their illnesses. They search for information about their illnesses on the internet more frequently.
Telehealth is the most dependable method in the medical field, from online prescriptions to medical history keeping. It’s a convenient way to get the help of a healthcare provider, no matter how long or far the physician is away. SmartClinix is a one-stop destination for all your medical needs, something that is right up the Gen-Z’s alley.
From online prescriptions to specialist appointments, SmartClinix will make it easy for you to get top-notch healthcare sitting right at home! Head over to SmartClinix today and book an appointment within 24 hours with American-board certified specialists and physicians!
Dr. Josh is a physician who's helping spread the knowledge about Telehealth and its advantages. At SmartClinix, he's providing his expertise and knowledge in the form of engaging articles on various health & tech related topics.
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