Uber Health: Rides for Patients
San Francisco-based transport company Uber has launched a new service called Uber Health to help healthcare organisations supply transport for their patients.
Introduced on March 1, the Uber Health dashboard allows healthcare professionals to schedule rides for their patients on demand or up to a month ahead of time. Multiple rides can be booked at the same time and are paid for by the healthcare facilities.
What's special about the platform is that patients don't need a smartphone to use the service, as they are informed about their trip through text messages. This is an important feature as many older patients do not own smartphones, and if they do, they are often not confident using apps. In the future, Uber plans to introduce the option to be notified via a call to a mobile phone or landline instead, for those who don't own a mobile or have visual impairments.
The company has partnered with over 100 healthcare organisations in the US and the programme is accessible 24 hours a day, wherever Uber is available in the country.
With global healthcare spending projected to reach $8.7tn by 2020 (Deloitte, 2018), it's no wonder Uber wants to be part of this industry. According to 2017 research, Uber has already disrupted medical transportation, with ambulance usage in US cities having decreased by 7% since the introduction of Uber. With Uber Health, this disruption is set to continue.
For more on the future of mobility and inclusive transport, see High-Octane Hubs.