As the prestigious transportation company, Uber, has been growing rapidly, they have decided to expand their services into health. As reported by the Community Transportation Association, every year, there are approximately 3.6 million people living in America who miss doctor appointments because of a transportation issue. The company Uber has addressed this issue after deciding to launch Uber Health on March 1st, subsequent to being in beta since last July. Uber Health is a service designed to help take patients from and to hospitals. This is important as it prevents people from being late to their appointments, especially for older people, and it can even help take people back from hospitals after operations. Uber Health is already being used in over 100 different healthcare organizations, and healthcare professionals can get a ride for their patients. Although it is similar to the normal Uber services, Uber Health has additional features that are designed to make it more useful for health situations. For example, people are able to schedule a ride immediately, or schedule for one in up to thirty days. Additionally, many elderly people do not have access to a smartphone, so Uber Health allows you to have any phone - unlike the regular Uber services.
As of right now, the current healthcare organizations pay for the rides. Although it does help to get patients to hospitals, Uber Health is not a replacement for using ambulance rides, when in an emergency. This is because Uber Health does not employ medical professionals, but instead, regular drivers. The last thing we would want would be a nonprofessional being involved in a serious emergency incident! Essentially, Uber Health works by having someone at your hospital, which is partnered with Uber Health, to schedule a ride for you. You will then have text messages or calls that will remind you when and where you will be picked up. Your doctor will have the information of the ride and will give you a paper noting the driver’s license of the car so you will be able to know what car is supposed to pick you up. The concept is simple, yet the service is undeniably great, and as an anonymous patient from San Diego sums up his situation, “My health crisis was a lot to manage. Knowing I had reliable and comfortable transportation to and from my oncology appointments was one less burden on a very long list.”