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Maternity & Family Benefits

Why a Digital Health Strategy is a Business Imperative

October 5, 2018

By Gabriela Perez, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Ovia Health

Millennials are rapidly becoming the largest and most powerful healthcare consuming generation in the United States. With a current population of over 71M, they are changing the face of the industry (1, 2).

If you aren’t re-thinking your nearterm strategy to align with the behavioral demands of this influential generation, you’ll likely be left behind. Millennials expect benefits and a healthcare experience that reflects how they interact with the world around them. In an era of same-day shipping and online banking, they want options, convenience, instant gratification, and self-service (3, 4, 5).

Understanding the millennial mindset

Healthcare organizations and employers wanting to lead the market need to better understand how to engage a population accustomed to real-time access to trusted, engaging, and personalized information delivered digitally.

Here’s a start: Millennials...

  1. Are meticulous researchers. Having grown up with the internet and social media, millennials avidly seek information before making a healthcare decision. They want a system that supports immediate access to trusted information about symptoms, the cost of care, their health plan coverage, and quality ratings.
  2. Value convenience and efficiency. Accustomed to instant gratification, millennials are frustrated by traditional pathways to care. The process of calling an office, waiting for an appointment, and then taking time off from work simply makes no sense to them (5).
  3. Inherently mistrust authority. Millennials don’t like to be told what’s in their best interest. They want control and active participation in the decision making process.
  4. Use mobile phones as their personal health hub. Millennials build their lives around mobile devices, with half spending at least three hours per day on their phones (2,4). They use apps to store all kinds of personal information, including medical data, which can be accessed and used on-demand.
  5. Believe in the power of digital health. Millennials want technology to help them better manage their health, using integrated informational platforms, devices, and technologies that are available digitally. They want a healthcare system that is portable to support their lifestyle.

So what next?

Millennials are the driving force behind two key healthcare trends impacting your future:

Digital technology is here to stay: By the year 2020, millennials will make the majority of healthcare decisions in the US.6 Plans and benefit programs incorporating these technologies into their healthcare strategy will be best positioned for long term success.

The cost curve is rapidly changing: Health plans and employers slow to address the specific healthcare needs of millennials are being hammered by a dramatic rise in infertility and maternity costs. New tools and resources are required to contain these costs and improve profitability, and engage the targeted population.

How to remain relevant

Organizations can address both trends by partnering with companies offering digital solutions designed specifically for this population. Given that millennials are responsible for 82% of births, partnering with companies like Ovia Health makes good business sense (6).

Today, over 40% of US pregnancies are positively impacted by Ovia Health. By successfully incorporating the art and science of behavioral change, Ovia Health improves outcomes by sustaining long term engagement. Leveraging machine learning to target the “right moment” in the parenthood journey — fertility, pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting — Ovia Health’s mobile-first solution educates and activates participants to take action when it matters.

The foundation of Ovia Health’s behavior change methodology is the use of over 50 physician developed, evidence-based algorithms proven to drive early identification and proactive intervention. These modules help millennials conceive naturally, remain healthy throughout their pregnancy, support the identification of postpartum depression, and facilitate a smooth return to work. Ovia Health’s maternity and family benefits solution is the #1 health app for women and families.