Published: Fri, March 02, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Uber Health Gives Patients Rides to Doctor's Appointments

Uber Health Gives Patients Rides to Doctor's Appointments

The auto can either be sent to the patient's house, or it can pick patients up at a medical facility and take them home.

"We want to make [Uber] accessible to patients whether they're familiar with Uber or not", said Chris Weber, general manager of Uber Health, told CNN.

This would be especially helpful for senior citizens who primarily use a landline to make and receive phone calls. "It's definitely something we're very excited about and it's a key component of what we're putting together here". So Uber drivers won't be able to opt into the health service the same way that they opt into Uber Eats, a food delivery service. Organizations can easily keep track of what they're spending on rides.

The drivers serving Uber Health are regular Uber drivers.

And while being HIPAA-compliant is a good thing, it doesn't necessarily get rid of all the risk.

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Uber is making a foray into the lucrative business of healthcare.

The dashboard also comes with a printable sheet allowing the doctor to circle the incoming Uber's vehicle color and write down the license plate number. As of now Uber Health is only available in the United States, but it may very well expand to other countries and regions in the coming months.

More than 100 healthcare organizations in the USA, including hospitals, clinics, rehab centers, senior care facilities and physical therapy centers are already using Uber Health as a part of the beta program that began last summer.

'The fact that they are only launching this service now and not in the past is because it's likely taken a while to work out the details, ' he added.

Uber Health's data is "cordoned off" from Uber's other data and only a select number of employees are given access to it, he said.

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Uber Health takes this on by allowing medical facilities to book travel on a patient's behalf.

The app has also evolved throughout its beta period to accommodate the older people who are most likely to use it. In response, the company launched a paper-based solution, where it allows its users to print out a physical piece of paper that has all the information they need.

Rather than operating through an app, Uber Health will send passengers their ride information via text message. Insurance, at this point, is not involved in the process.

"Every year an estimated 3.6 million Americans miss their appointments due to a lack of reliable transportation". Missed appointments cost the medical system more than $150 billion a year.

This is not the first time that Uber has made entered into the healthcare space.

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As for the business model, Uber Heatlh charges its healthcare organization customers only for the cost of individual rides, which are at par with what those rides would cost via the consumer app. Access to the dashboard and the reporting tools are included free.

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