Uber, the ridesharing company, announced the launch of Uber Health, a new service that will partner with healthcare organizations to provide rides for patients.
In a blog post, the company said that each year, 3.6 million Americans miss a doctor’s appointment because of a lack of transportation. What’s more, no-show rates at doctor’s offices are as much as 30 percent around the country. For patients with chronic diseases, finding reliable transportation is difficult.
“Today, we’re introducing Uber Health as a way to partner with healthcare organizations to provide reliable, comfortable transportation for patients. The dashboard allows healthcare professionals to order rides for patients going to and from the care they need,” said Uber in a blog post. “We are also launching an Uber Health API to enable easy integrations into existing healthcare products.”
The new service will offer flexible ride scheduling for patients, caregivers and staff, in which care coordinators can schedule rides for patients immediately, within a few hours or up to 30 days in advance — a perk that enables transportation to be scheduled for follow-up appointments while the patient is still at the healthcare provider, Uber said.
Caregivers can schedule multiple rides and manage them from one dashboard. Uber is also reaching out to patients who don’t have a smartphone, with communication done via text message. The company will include the option for riders to get a call with their trip details.
“For many, their first-ever Uber ride will be through Uber Health, so we’re committed to providing the necessary education tools that ensure every patient feels comfortable and at ease during their journey,” noted Uber in the post.
The ride-hailing startup disclosed that more than 100 healthcare organization in the U.S. — including hospitals, clinics, rehab centers, senior care facilities, home care centers and physical therapy centers — are already using Uber Health as a part of the beta program.