In 2030, there will be nearly three times as many people over the age of 65 than there were in 1980 [source: American Hospital Association]. This means boomers, as a group, will be needing -- and receiving -- more medical attention than any previous same-aged demographic.
Not only are greater medical capabilities available to boomers compared to decades past, there is more information available to them than ever before. Boomers are taking advantage of the ability to seek out and find medical information online, enabling them to ask precise questions when visiting with a doctor (and enabling them to understand the answers, as well). Online information provides instant access to a "second opinion," or at least to the data they need that may prompt a request for a second opinion. Boomers can now learn about new medical breakthroughs and developments as they're made available online, allowing them to ask health care providers about specific tests or procedures that may benefit them.
Health care providers will also benefit from increased medical awareness of boomers. Between 1996 and 2006, outpatient physician visits for people 55 to 64 increased by 13 percent [source: Elliott]. With more boomers reaching retirement age, this trend will be difficult to reverse, but a more-informed and health-conscious patient demographic could help turn back the tide.
Doctors aren't the only ones paying more attention to boomers, as we'll discuss next.