MedCity Influencers, Health Tech

Addressing the needs of the millennial physician

If the healthcare ecosystem wants to keep up with the millennials and the sheer numbers in which this generation is entering the workforce and economy, it is going to have to adopt an agile and evolving approach to technologies like AI, ML, RPA, among other digital technologies.

 

Over the last few years, as more and more millennials – or the generation born between 1981 and 1996 – have joined the workforce and the economy, they have turned everything on its head. Having grown up on a healthy dose of internet, technology, and personalization, their expectations of traditional systems, processes, delivery models are dramatically different from previous generations.

For millennials, transparency, tangible outcomes, seamless experiences, and convenience are non-negotiable – these are things they have experienced all their lives and continue to demand it from traditional industries as well, including healthcare. Much has been written about millennial consumers and their expectations changing and more often than not enhancing healthcare processes, systems, efficiency, transparency, data centricity and eventually, care outcomes. But millennial physicians too have entered the healthcare workforce over the last few years, and their expectations too are making a significant impact on the sector. Let’s see how.

Factors impacting the new generation of digital-native doctors
The most important trait of new-gen doctors is that they have similar expectations in matters like information access, transparency, care outcomes, and seamless experiences as their other digital native counterparts. Simultaneously, millennial patients too expect higher levels of personalized care. They demand shared decision-making instead of being instructed by physicians on treatment and medication. Last mile healthcare delivery, much like restaurants and retail, now get rated continuously by millennial healthcare consumers. This puts additional pressure on physicians to be better informed at all times, better connected, and better engaged with patients.

But the administrative burdens of legacy systems in the healthcare sector come in the way of what the millennial physician has come to expect and need in order to deliver the best outcomes. A study of millennial physicians in the U.S. and U.K. shows they are frustrated with administrative burdens and the pace of change in healthcare. 89% millennial GPs in the UK agree that it is difficult to spend enough time with patients to allow 360-degree insight before making a diagnosis. 82% want to drive change in the healthcare sector with a single end goals in mind – enhanced care outcomes. 83% of millennial GPs see digital healthcare services in enabling better communications and seamless experiences.

Digital technologies, data and AI are leading the way
The next big disruption in the industry, from a technology point of view, will come from creating the seamless experiences, communication, and data-centricity that the new generation of physicians as well as patients have come to demand. A patient’s medical history, diagnostic information, and treatment pathway are some of the crucial branches of the healthcare data tree. Add to that wearable technologies that allow access to staggering amounts of patient data. If all this data is mined, it can allow physicians access to deep insights into patients’ health records and lifestyle, thus enabling truly personalized care and enhanced health outcomes.

Simultaneously, AI and automation reduce the administrative burden on physicians, thus allowing them to focus on care outcomes. Eventually, they deliver a rich and seamless experience for all participants in the care continuum. When these technology infrastructure models pivot around the millennial physician and patient and their needs, they help them navigate the healthcare ecosystem to respectively deliver and derive the best possible care.

If the healthcare ecosystem wants to keep up with the millennials and the sheer numbers in which this generation is entering the workforce and economy, it is going to have to adopt an agile and evolving approach to technologies like AI, ML, RPA, among other digital technologies. That is what the new age physician demands in order to deliver his best, and that is what the new age patient has come to expect. The time for meaningful innovation in the healthcare sector is well and truly here.

Photo: FatCamera, Getty Images

Venky is an SVP and global head of Infosys’ Healthcare Industry Vertical. In this role, he is responsible for profitable growth of Infosys’ Healthcare business. His responsibility straddles Infosys Healthcare strategy, market innovation, building high performance teams and managing critical relationships with senior client executives in the Healthcare industry. He has deep understanding of Healthcare business and specializes in leveraging technology to solve business problems at scale. Venky has spent over two decades with Infosys and has broad experience spanning multiple industries and geographies. He has won a multitude of excellence awards and Gold Standard awards for outstanding achievement ranging from thought leadership in the industry to client management. He holds an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and an executive leadership program from Stanford graduate school of business.

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