When Uneo started its journey to create a simple, engaging digital bridge for Generation Z to resources that could help with their health, we had no idea just how many resources there were and how so few knew where to find them.
In the U.S., beyond the thousands of traditional healthcare providers (hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices), there are over 1.8 million non-profits including 75,000 healthcare and mental health organizations (based on NTEE codes).
Additionally, there are tens of thousands of other organizations including recreation centers that could support physical activity, food programs to support food insecurity, and advocacy organizations that can support psychosocial and social injustice issues such as the Trevor Project.
So what is the challenge?
While undoubtedly most of these great organizations have websites, portals, or even apps – when you ask our teens and young adults where they go for help with their healthcare, they often just go to Google
This vast, disparate set of resources is disconnected from how the teen and young adult accesses information - which is unfortunate as so many of these organizations can make a real difference with the well-being of Generation Z.
These resources, including medical, psychosocial, and community support are vital to their wellbeing especially when it comes to opportunities to help them with social determinants of health barriers.
What can be done
The premise that any one of the 58 million youth in Generation Z can simply find the resources they need for their health and well-being is flawed. Thus, we need to take a novel approach in how to connect teens and young adults with the resources they need. This is the only way to level the playing field for disadvantaged youth that lack the financial means and other support to guide them through this complex ecosystem of care.
Starting with a focus on prediabetes and associated psychosocial issues, Uneo is building a scalable, personalized “digital bridge” in their smartphone that brings the curated resources to them – not the other way around.
Based on the countless hours of user feedback discussions and surveys, we are following this basic guidance:
1. Keep the experience simple to use (more buttons, less typing)
2. Content should be interesting yet informative – less words, more audio/visual education and avoid static documents like PDFs
3. Personalize the content and experience to where the user is (one size does not fit all!)
Innovate for change
At Uneo, we know that solving this crisis will not be easy but we are convinced that with innovation, collaboration, and creativity – as well as listening to this generation more carefully – we can make a difference. If you want to join us on this mission, please let the Uneo team know.