In brief

In brief

  • The Accenture 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey reveals a market shift in the United States.
  • Healthcare consumers today are changing, and their expectations for convenience, affordability and quality are redefining how they engage at each stage of care.
  • Younger consumers are not satisfied with healthcare’s status quo and consumers of all generations are more willing to try non-traditional services.
  • Non-traditional healthcare, such as virtual care and retail walk-in clinics, is gaining in popularity and use.

The new healthcare consumer is here

Younger consumers are not satisfied with healthcare’s status quo and consumers of all generations are more willing to try non-traditional services.

For instance, Gen Z and millennials are least likely to have a primary care physician (PCP), compared to Gen X, baby boomers and the silent generation. Some younger generations say they would like to have a PCP but have not found one that meets their preferences for affordability and convenience. Gen Z is the most likely generation to seek out wellness practices (e.g. yoga, acupuncture) beyond Western medicine.

Who has a PCP?


Silent Generation (born 1928 to 1945)


Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964)


Gen Xers (born 1965 to 1980)


Millennials (born 1981 to 1996)


Gen Z (born 1997 onward)

Younger consumers—Gen Z and millennials—are the most dissatisfied with the quality of traditional healthcare services. As these younger generations age and have greater healthcare needs, they will increasingly look for services to satisfy their expectations for effectiveness, convenience, efficiency and transparency. With millennials projected to become the largest generation by 2019, this generation holds the most power to influence future healthcare models.

Younger generations are "dissatisfied" and "very dissatisfied" with aspects of traditional care

Younger generations are “dissatisfied” and “very dissatisfied” with aspects of traditional care.

Evolving preferences show a need for transformation

Patients overall show satisfaction with new care models. When thinking about non-traditional healthcare services (emerging types of service delivery—i.e., walk-in or retail clinics, outpatient surgery hospitals, virtual health, on-demand services or digital therapeutics), many patients are “very satisfied” and “extremely satisfied” with the level of transparency, convenience, effectiveness, efficiency and cost of those services.

More than half of patients surveyed expect digital capabilities—and these expectations increasingly influence who patients choose in a provider. For instance, in 2019, 70 percent are more likely to choose a provider that offers reminders for follow-up care via email or text, compared to 57 percent in 2016. More than half (53 percent) in 2019 are more likely to use a provider offering remote or telemonitoring devices, compared to 39 percent in 2016. Younger consumers are likelier than any other generation to choose medical providers who offer digital capabilities, such as easy access to test results via mobile or online and requesting prescription refills electronically.

Consumers increasingly will choose medical providers who offer digital capabilities

Consumers increasingly will choose medical providers who offer digital capabilities.

Care beyond the doctor’s office is gaining ground

Non-traditional care delivery services are making rapid inroads. Roughly 29 percent of US respondents say they have used some form of virtual care (an increase from 21 percent in 2017), and walk-in/retail clinics have already gone mainstream (47 percent). Many of those who have not used non-traditional care delivery services would be willing to do so. Patients are even skipping traditional care in favor of non-traditional. For instance, choice of non-traditional healthcare surpasses traditional for cold/virus treatment (65 percent vs. 48 percent), flu shots (62 percent vs. 54 percent) and checking vitals (59 percent vs. 54 percent).

Virtual care has become an appealing channel for consumers with more complex needs. For example, they would seek out routine therapy/mental health (26 percent, compared to 20 percent of other consumers), physical injury treatment (24 percent, compared to 11 percent of other consumers) and sexually transmitted disease screenings/treatment (23 percent compared to 11 percent of other consumers).

Cross-country findings: How do citizens’ attitudes across leading digital health nations compare?

How do United States’ survey findings compare to responses from other leading digital health nations? Accenture tested the common factors that influence people’s care choices, understanding that needs and preferences are partly shaped by the realities of different national healthcare systems and demographics.

Watch this SlideShare to:

  • Learn the key factors that influence citizens’ care decisions.
  • Understand people’s interest in—and actual use of—digital and virtual healthcare services.
  • Uncover different generational views on digital health.
With consumer preferences and behaviors changing all the time, providers and payers must stay one step ahead of the shifts.

Kaveh Safavi

Senior Managing Director – Global Health

Brian Kalis

Managing Director – Digital Health


Striving for empathetic and equitable healthcare

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