Understanding how women from different generations navigate the digital world for health and wellness solutions can help your brand create tailored and effective strategies.
“Different phases of your life demand your energy differently.” At every age and stage, what women look for in health and wellness changes — and their digital habits reflect their shifting priorities. Our recent study of 1,166 U.S. women uncovered key insights into how different generations of women use the internet and social media to consume health information and seek healthcare.
“Different phases of your life demand your energy differently.”
- Jenny Yu, MD, FACS, Chief Health Officer at Healthline Media
Jenny Yu, MD, FACS, Chief Health Officer at Healthline Media, shared findings from this research as a featured speaker at Xpectives Health Summit, where we served as the title sponsor for the Innovation in Women’s Health Business Conference.
By adapting to the unique needs of each generation, health and wellness brands can create tailored solutions and messaging that address the distinct challenges women face in various phases of their lives.
Recognize Women’s Health Barriers and Priorities
Women face ongoing barriers to wellness, from the cost of healthcare to physiological changes throughout life, with unique health priorities for each generation.
As women age, their health priorities shift. Older women say their future health concerns include age-related body changes, chronic health, pain, and weight. Younger women are more concerned with future mental or emotional health, sexual health and fertility, and lack of sleep or lack of self-care.
Dig into Women’s Digital Health and Wellness Information Habits
Half of women use general health and wellness websites like Healthline.com, while over a third use social media, and a third use doctor or specialist websites. To truly resonate with audiences, health and wellness brands have an opportunity to create specific messaging for different generations and channels — messaging that is both engaging and a trustworthy source of information.
For older generations, digital health and wellness habits are set. These generations strongly prefer general health websites like Healthline.com and tend to use just one source of information. Only 22% of Boomers and 28% of Gen X use social media for health and wellness information.
Younger generations are still searching for the best health and wellness resources. They flock to social channels for connections and community more than they visit health websites. Around half of Millennials (49%) and Gen Z (48%) use social media for health information.
Trust is foundational. Brands need to prioritize trustworthy information. Over three in four women have had issues trusting health and wellness information online. Our survey showed 44% of U.S. women have found conflicting information, while 40% say they have experienced information overload or find it hard to find trustworthy sources.
Understand the Digital Tools Women Use for Health & Wellness
Across the board, many women use online services, platforms, and mobile apps for health and wellness.
The most popular digital wellness services: Half of all women use health and wellness apps like step counters or fertility trackers. Just under a third use digital tools to purchase products, while 29% use them to schedule health appointments or find doctors.
Why do women use these solutions? They say these tools offer helpful reminders (35%), support (33%), a record of progress for motivation (29%), a sense of accountability (27%), or rewards or points for staying motivated (27%).
Digital use differs across the generations:
Boomers are the generation most concerned with convenience. But they use digital health solutions at the lowest levels, and primarily for practical tasks like scheduling appointments, finding doctors, and filling prescriptions.
Gen Xers are most likely to say online health and wellness services are too expensive. But they are also more likely than other generations to use calorie-tracking apps and Rx discount services.
Millennials are by far most likely to use mobile health apps and trackers, such as daily habit tracking or sleep apps. They are also the most likely to be actively using telehealth solutions.
Gen Z is the least likely to use digital health solutions, although they are the most likely to use reproductive health trackers. They are the least likely to purchase health and wellness products online.
Support Women’s Wellness with Healthline
By recognizing the barriers, priorities, and preferences behind each generation’s digital habits, brands can develop strategies that resonate with women and empower them to achieve their health goals.
Healthline is taking the lead on women’s wellness, with upcoming content to address real issues, conversations, and triumphs for women on their wellness journeys. Our insight-driven programs include actionable information, resources, and products that resonate with women at every stage of life, for their physical, mental, and emotional wellness.
Wellness brands can now align with credible, timely, and actionable content that speaks to women’s current concerns and finds them at key decision-making moments.
Healthline Media Women’s Health study. Survey of 1,166 U.S. Women. Mar 2023.