Mobile Commerce

On-Demand Startups “Uberize” Health Care

The Uberization of the startup world is spreading deep into the health care industry, making an even larger case for why the on-demand services market is becoming the next big thing consumers are latching onto.

Take Heal, for example, one of the startups that was featured in a Wall Street Journal article about the phenomenon. For those who aren’t covered by insurance, or don’t have time to leave the house or office to make that doctor visit, companies like Heal are stepping in to fill in the wellness gaps.

Interestingly enough, there’s a startup that uses the on-demand model and actually uses Uber to get its doctors and nurse practitioners to patients in New York City. Heal, based out of California in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orange County is focused on quick service, as its slogan is to “get a doctor to your sofa in under and hour.” And it does so in under $99, the company claims.

There are also other companies like RetraceHealth that allow a nurse practitioner to meet with patients via video, and makes home visits when necessary if hands-on care is needed. Or there’s MedZed, which sends a nurse to do the exam, but brings the doctor’s advice along electronically through a laptop.

Those are just a few examples of how the modern-day health care field is part of the sharing economy that’s been growing with the Uberization influence of almost every industry. The concept involves using technology to help streamline services by taking the hassle out through the on-demand experience. The innovations in health care tech have also spurred the ability for more startups to join the space.

While many of the startups peg themselves as the latest and greatest “Uber for health care,” it seems it still hasn’t caused much uproar in the medical community, WSJ noted in its report. While Uber has disrupted the cab industry and angered plenty of cabbies, the Uberization of the health care industry doesn’t seem to upset doctors in the same way. This may be because it also helps provide more flexible working hours and jobs for certified health care professionals.

“I love my Pager shifts — it’s back to real medicine, just you and the patient,” said Kimberly Henderson, an ER physician who does shifts for the Pager on-demand health care startup.

There’s another startup called True North, a Denver-based startup that has been credited with reducing the need for paramedic calls for nonemergency medical issues that ended up being costly for all parties involved.

“You essentially get the same person who would see you in the ER, with a lot of the same equipment, for a lot less money than you’d pay there,” Denver Fire Chief Rick Lewis told WSJ.

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