Technology could be harmful to millennials’ health

02 August 2019 2 min. read
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A study conducted by CVS Health has revealed that millennials’ love of technology might carry consequences that could be detrimental to both their physical and mental well-being.

The annual “Path to Better Health Study” examines consumer health goals, then asks healthcare providers how patients can best reach those goals. This year, the study found that 53% of respondents aged 18 to 34 said they did not know how to meet new people. By contrast, only 27% of those aged 65 and older responded in the same way to the same question. Additionally, 48% of millennials said they do not want to be social at all, compared to 20% of people 65 and older, and 35% of those aged 51 to 64. 

A lack of socializing, healthcare professionals say, can lead to problems such as depression and addiction. On a related note, 42% of those surveyed reported either struggling or knowing someone struggling with mental illness, with 35% having experienced issues themselves or knowing someone who has experienced issues with alcohol abuse. 

Technology could be harmful to millennials’ health

“Our physical health is directly impacted by other important aspects of our lives including our mental health, social connections, and financial health,” Karen S. Lynch, executive vice president of CVS Health and president of Aetna, said. “The good news is that people are getting proactive about addressing these holistic concerns. Now, our health system must adapt to how consumers are approaching health care and be more inclusive and supportive of people's total health." 

To achieve this transformation, according to the study, millennials must be provided with support systems and tools that will allow them to easily track health, as well as have access to healthcare services, both digitally and in a real-world setting. Forty-six percent of millennials, for example, said they value “in-person, walk-in office hours” with a doctor or other healthcare provider, and 64% believe that the ability to monitor or track health – through the use of electronic diaries or apps, wearable trackers, or calorie counters – is “very or somewhat important.”

“The existing system of episodic health care is falling short, but we are working to reinvent health care to better connect with all consumers, including millennials, and improve their overall well-being," Alan Lotvin, MD, the executive vice president and chief transformation office of CVS Health, said. "Through multiple initiatives, we are providing digital and physical connections that feel like essentially every other interaction in our life – seamless, simple, and easily available. By engaging consumers through local connections and providing personalized, daily support, we can radically change the way consumers engage in their health.”

The “Path to Better Health Study” surveyed 1,000 US residents aged 18 and over, as well as 400 healthcare providers, with a focus on primary care physicians and specialists with at least two years’ experience. The 2019 study, conducted in April and May, also included nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists.