There are two billion people worldwide between the ages of 23 and 38 years; they are known as the Net Generation (often referred to as “millennials”). They are the next generation of caregivers, parents, and leaders, and health and well-being are central to them. They smoke less, drink less and strive for a better work/life balance than previous generations.
To mark International Self Care Day, we recently interviewed 3,200 Net Generation consumers and healthcare practitioners (HCPs–pharmacists and general physicians) to get a better understanding of how they approach self-care.
We found that these consumers spend a significant amount of time online looking into self-care (they are known as the Net Generation for a reason), with 50% of them using the internet as their main source of information, ahead of recommendations from doctors, pharmacists and friends. But our research showed a gap between intent and action, with 70% feeling confident that they are doing well at managing their health through self-care, while nearly 60% of HCPs feel they are not doing a good job. HCPs believe that getting the right information to consumers is the major barrier to this generation taking better care of themselves.
The Net Generation wants information in a format they can digest and understand, when and where it suits them–and that means online. They want to be able to get reliable information, and connect with HCPs and other experts who can help them via online healthcare communities and apps. Finding the optimum way to reach the Net Generation and help them understand how to look after themselves could ensure a healthier world in the future. This report is a starting point for us to listen to and adapt to this generation and those to follow.