A Millennial Perspective: Holistic and “Healthier” Healthcare

AUG 30
Millennials are much maligned in the press. Contrary to many headlines, we are not lazy or entitled. We are a generation of self-aware, driven, and technology-savvy consumers relying on connectivity, transparency, and convenience to navigate through everyday life. As noted in TripleTree’s recent Industry Perspective discussing the impact of millennials on U.S. healthcare, our generation brings unique expectations and values to the industry. Resulting from a combination of observation, education, and experience, we take a more holistic view of healthcare in an effort to live a ‘healthier’ life. So what does this broader perspective mean for the healthcare industry? At the macro level, there is opportunity to disrupt and innovate to meet the needs of millennials who find benefits in prioritizing self-development, community, happiness, and nutrition as part of their more holistic outlook on health.
  • Self-development is essential to success. Many millennials maintain their health through self-care routines including workout regimens, nutritional plans, and counseling. Our generation is in tune with how and what we need to do to improve ourselves, with 94% of millennials reporting to have made personal improvement commitments, compared to the 84% for Boomers and 81% of Gen Xer’s. Our relentless goal to improve ourselves, however, comes at a cost. While Boomers spend an average of $152 a month on self-improvement, millennials spend twice as much with half the income. When it comes to professional life, millennials enter the workforce with expectations of being noticed and providing meaningful work. According to a study by Deloitte, employers who provide learning opportunities and professional development programs are more likely to retain satisfied millennial employees. Millennials want to learn and grow as people, with 87% claiming that professional development is very important to them in a job. The ambitions of this highly motivated generation will continue to drive employers to embrace a workforce managing their health and development differently from previous generations.
  • Millennials find community through fitness. Millennials are highly in touch with themselves and the world around them, and our priorities have influenced the growth of innovative fitness models beyond the ‘neighborhood gym’. Seeking a more personalized and on-demand approach, millennials are opting for boutique fitness studios like Soul Cycle and CrossFit and booking group fitness classes with their MINDBODY app to build more than strength, but community as well. Group fitness classes have become social environments where members can connect and support one another while building healthy lifestyles. As millennials seek deeper engagement at work, corporate wellness programs like Well Nation and Preventure help employees to achieve wellness goals with opportunities to participate in team challenges, helping build productivity, morale, and community in the workplace. Interest in wellness is growing, and we plan to explore the wellness industry further in an upcoming blog focusing on digital health platforms.
  • Happiness, at work and at home, is part of health. Millennial satisfaction is driven by more than paychecks and material items; we value new and meaningful experiences over making money. With millennials making up an estimated 75% of the workforce by 2025, employers must understand millennial values to engage and empower them in the workplace.  According to Fast Company, more than 50% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values, while 90% want to use their skills for good. A 2015 study found that millennial career goals don’t differ that much from older generations. Similar to older generations, millennials seek financial security, inspirational leadership, and freedom to innovate. However, unlike older generations, millennials find greater satisfaction in work-life balance, an important consideration for employers who want to attract and retain millennial workers.
  • Millennials eat fresh, nutritious food to benefit future health. Millennials understand how nutrition positively impacts our health, as demonstrated through growing interest in organic and sustainably-sourced food. As millennials grow older with more disposable income, we are typically willing to spend more money on healthier food options, but not at the cost of convenience. Weekly meal kits, such as Blue Apron and Hello Fresh are growing in popularity for easy access to fresh, healthy ingredients ordered online and delivered directly to our door. Employers and health plans are also helping individuals and families better understand and achieve health goals by partnering with solutions like Zipongo and Kurbo Health, who offer nutrition guidance through personalized meal planning and coaching. With nearly 30% of millennials now parents, our desire for convenient access to healthy, nutritious food at this new stage of life will continue to drive demand for these services as we consider how our diet will not only impact our own health, but also the impact on the health of our children.

While it’s easy to discount the impact of these 83 million Americans, millennials have already started to change how healthcare is being consumed. Our on-the-go lifestyles emphasize the need for efficient and convenient healthcare solutions, as we are spending less time at doctors’ offices with only 22% of millennials having a primary care doctor and shifting to more on-demand options such as retail clinics and telehealth solutions that meet the need for in-home virtual care. Looking ahead, innovative healthcare companies have the opportunity to expand their perspective, and product or service offerings, by recognizing and leveraging the millennials’ more holistic view of healthcare. As the first generation to have grown up with technology, integrated and technology-driven platforms will not only help millennials manage and maintain their physical, mental, and emotional health, but also benefit all healthcare consumers with an improved sense of well-being. As a generation that has already proven to be a major disruptor among other industries, millennials are poised to encourage even further disruption and innovation in the $3.2 trillion healthcare industry.
We continue to closely monitor the impact of millennials on U.S. healthcare and would love to know what you think.
Ryan Bickett and Jaimie Vetter, authors of this blog, are members of the millennial generation themselves. During his time as a Summer Analyst at TripleTree, Ryan not only learned about the healthcare landscape, but also gained perspective about the impact his generation is beginning to have across the industry. As a marketing professional, Jaimie monitors and stays abreast of how her peer group is helping influence TripleTree’s investment banking and principal investing activities.  
Ryan Bickett
Jaimie Vetter
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