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On the road with the millennial HCP

Directions in behaviour change: From translating the theory into practice to looking at its design implications and beyond, we put behavioural change under the spotlight

Havas Lynx David HuntWhen I was asked to write an article on behaviour change in healthcare, our recent work investigating trends among millennial healthcare professionals (mHCPs) immediately came to mind. Our research showed this dynamic group to hold vastly different behaviours from previous generations. What's more, they're really shaking up the healthcare landscape. So, I decided to go straight to the source to talk a little more about what makes these mHCPs tick.

“Yeah I'll put Andy on. Just hang on a sec, he's just sorting our next lift.”

I'm on the phone to one of our associate creatives, who's taken a little time out from working life to travel. He's been joined by his friend Andy, a young primary care physician, and the two are making their way through Europe the modern way: hitching (via the BlaBlaCar app) and sofa-surfing (with the Couchsurfing app), phone in hand.

Andy is a prime example of an mHCP. He's just spent five months in a remote region of the Eastern Cape on a professional leadership programme. It's meant upping sticks and putting the day job on hold, but like many millennials, the stability of a fixed abode isn't too much of a concern for Andy.

Andy worked with local doctors to introduce a simple SMS initiative for patients in remote communities to communicate with doctors without the burden of hours of travelling.

“At first we had it in mind that this could just be used for monitoring post-consultation,” he tells me. However, the privacy of digital proved a powerful tool for reaching out to women and young people about sensitive issues such as AIDS.

Our research showed this dynamic group of mHCPs hold vastly different behaviours from previous generations

“So we changed the service offering,” says Andy. “It's the beauty of digital - you can adapt and develop more iteratively, until you have something that really works.” Such feedback-loop approaches are a world away from the waterfall methodology so entrenched in pharma, but they allow greater creativity and collaboration, without top-heavy investment.

Andy's primary motivation for working with digital is a sense of social conscience. “Everyone looks to their phone for answers. Digital offers us so many ways to educate, motivate and empower - if we're not using it, we're simply not doing our jobs.”

When I ask Andy his plans for his return to the UK he tells me he's applying to the NHS clinical entrepreneurship programme and he's also in discussions with a tech start-up about an idea he's had: “My career's going to be more varied and less linear than it would have been twenty years ago. I like that.”

“Sorry Dave, going to have to cut this short,” interrupts our associate creative. “This guy's engine's smoking like Etna. Andy thinks we might be able to find a YouTube tutorial to help us fix it.”

For more on the mHCP, go to, where you can find a range of media and resources featuring leading experts from around healthcare.

Article by
David Hunt

is CEO of Havas Lynx

24th November 2016

From: Marketing



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