These startups are making medicine and healthcare accessible to busy Millennials in more modern, waiting-room-free ways…
For all their focus on healthy eating, self-care, and fitness, there’s one aspect of wellness that Millennials are avoiding like the plague: doctors. Nearly half of 18-35-year-olds dread calling the doctor to make an appointment, and put off doing it until they absolutely have to, according to YPulse data. In fact, on the list of things Millennials would pay someone to do for them, “calling to make a doctor’s appointment” makes the top ten. Research from the Kaiser Family Foundation also found that 45% of 18-29-year-olds don’t have a primary care doctor, compared to 26% of respondents overall, and research from Zocdoc found that over half of Millennials reported visiting a doctor less than once a year and 37% said they couldn’t even remember how long it had been since their last doctor’s visit. The reason? They ain’t got time for that.
As we’ve explored before, Millennials are the most anxious, stressed-out generation to date. They are starved for time as they juggle everything from demanding jobs to (increasingly) parenthood, so they are motivated by anything that promises to save them precious time—which they consider a luxury. And with the rapid growth of the convenience economy, the generation now expects brands to provide products and services at the click of a button—and that includes their healthcare. In fact, Kaiser found that the number one reason Millennials put off making appointments is scheduling conflicts with work, and 40% of Millennials consider telemedicine options “extremely or very important” when choosing a healthcare plan compared with 27% of Gen Xers and 19% of Boomers, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. At the same time, the generation is adept at taking health into their own hands—with 37% considering the current American health care system “poor” or “terrible,” Millennials opt instead for alternative and DIY solutions to their ailments. But they’re also starting to turn to services that are launching specifically to cater to their doctor’s-office-avoidance and desire for convenience. A slew of startups are thriving by making medicine and healthcare accessible in more modern, mobile, waiting-room-free ways. Here are four companies that are helping them save time and avoid the doctor:
Tapping the Millennial obsession with skincare, Curology offers on-demand skincare products personalized to customer’s specific problems and delivers them right to their door. Founded by a dermatologist and his techy brother, the brand has a staff of dermatologists, physicians, and nurses who work digitally one-on-one to design custom creams based on a customer’s answers to an online questionnaire, as well as a DM convo with a dedicated practitioner. For around $20 plus shipping, your individual product then arrives at your doorstep every month, “taking out the trial and error, the guesswork, and even the trip to the derm,” according to Glamour.
Hers & Hims
What started as a brand to “boost men’s self-esteem” and pull them into the $3.7 trillion wellness space with hair loss treatments, hygiene offerings, and, ah-hem, penis pills, the startup Hims, which Fast Company deemed the “Goop for men” recently launched their female-targeted counterpart, Hers. Both brands offer a one-stop shop for all things beauty, wellness, and sexual health. While other brands offer on-demand birth control or personalized skincare products, the goal of Hers and Hims is to bring it all together in one central place with a seamless transaction, coupled with stylishly minimalist branding and a convenient approach to healthcare. As the brand’s founder and CEO put it, with Hims and Hers, “they’re bypassing waiting in line at pharmacies. They’re bypassing scheduling appointments and paying copays. They’re bypassing awkward conversations with their doctor.”
Calling itself a “virtual health concierge,” PlushCare’s quick and convenient telemedicine platform offers Millennials everything traditional healthcare can’t: same-day appointments, virtual diagnoses, and prescriptions sent to the pharmacy of your choice. The platform’s doctors also have an average of 15 years experience, and are trained at the top 50 medical institutions in the country, and while PlushCare accepts insurance, the uninsured are not turned away: an appointment costs $99 and even offers a 100% money-back guarantee.
As feminism goes mainstream and women are demanding more open discussions around the realities of their bodies, brands are responding with new approaches to old, taboo problems. While the likes of Thinx and Lola have changed the menstruation game by modernizing period-related products, Nurx is making it easy for young women to get access to birth control at an affordable price, with or without insurance. Through a mobile platform, women can request the brand of birth control they want, have a doctor OK it, and get it delivered to their door in three-month cycles.
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