Similar to how Gen Z relies on EdTech for education, Gen Z also depends on technology for health information. Whether that means finding a doctor or looking for a workout plan, Gen Z goes to the internet for health-related questions. From finding doctors online and telehealth to other e-health platforms, such as training apps and mental health apps, e-health is changing how Gen Z accesses health information.
- Online Scheduling
Example One: A Preference for Online Scheduling
The doctor I have been seeing since I was born retired this summer. For this reason, I had to look for a new doctor. I used a mixture of Google Search and OhioHealth.com to look for a new physician. After reading many doctor bios and reviews, I compiled a list of candidates. I had a tight timeframe before I left for college, so the options of who could squeeze me in for an appointment were limited. I called 10-15 offices to see who had availability. Most were booked several months out. I was getting frustrated calling and calling only to learn I would have to wait a few months. I ended up filtering out the doctors that did not have online scheduling and chose a doctor who had it, so I could tell if they were available without having to place another call.
- Telehealth Options
Example Two: Online Forms and Telehealth
I also saw a dermatology physician assistant this summer. I was a new patient, but the intake forms were easy to fill out. A link was sent to my phone, and I filled out and uploaded my information through Klara. I appreciated being able to fill this information out in advance instead of in the waiting room before an appointment.
While I prefer to fill out forms online, I do not always prefer telehealth over in-person appointments. Let’s face it: telehealth isn’t always suited for dermatology. It makes sense in a world with Covid and saves time as there is no drive or commute time involved. However, this derm appointment was less helpful. It was hard for the physician assistant to see my skin through my computer screen, so I had to send them pictures from my phone through a separate (although secure) platform. These pictures still were not sufficient, so I wound up having to schedule an in-person appointment. There are some problems with e-health that still need to be worked out. One example, integrating e-health platforms better so that moving between SaaS solutions is more seamless. In this case, it would have been nice to not have to leave the video call platform to send pictures.
- Proactive Wellness
Gen Z doesn’t just use technology to get in contact with a doctor. They also use it to exercise and access health information. This is a double-edged sword. Easy access to health information means that Gen Z can be better informed about their health and have tools to improve their well-being. However, there is also misinformation and an overreliance on the internet for health information. For example, consulting WebMD when a medical professional should be contacted. Despite the possibility for misuse that comes with any platform (e-health or not), e-health makes wellness information more accessible.
E-health comes in many forms. There are wearable tech options like Apple Watches and Fitbits. Below are some popular e-health apps that I see many of my peers using:
Headspace is a mediation app.
BetterHelp provides access to licensed therapists.
Nike Training Club provides workouts.
Youtube allows users to search for workout videos and watch informational videos about various topics ranging from nutrition to skincare.
Instead of going and paying for a fitness class, I see a lot of friends using Nike Training Club or Youtube. Many women prefer to use a period tracking app instead of writing on a calendar and doing the math. What is the common denominator between these apps? Well, just that—the six solutions mentioned above are all apps or are designed for mobile.
Gen Z uses e-health because of the convenience it offers in comparison to more traditional options. However, when technology isn’t convenient or helpful, like my telehealth derm appointment, you can go back to traditional in-person appointments, but with the convenience of making those appointments on an app. Customer experience managers need to keep in mind that Gen Z is looking for convenience—that means they have to focus on mobile. Gen Z uses their mobile devices all day, so optimizing these platforms for mobile devices is essential to attracting and keeping Gen Z. This means having websites that are reactive or easy to view on mobile devices, fast website loading times on smartphones, and sometimes opting for vertical videos.