Uber taps into the healthcare transport market through launching Uber Health
Ride-sharing company Uber is tapping into the lucrative healthcare transportation market by launching Uber Health. By supporting those who need to attend medical appointments, the service will provide an additional revenue stream and open the door for future opportunities for the company.
The initiative is not new, but one which has been fully tested since 2017 with a variety of healthcare providers. Set to be rolled out gradually across the US, the company will deliver a trustworthy, reliable transport solution.
Available both as a digital dashboard, or as an API which can become fully integrated within healthcare organisations, the technology caters for those who also do not own a mobile device.
Adhering to all HIPAA standards, the technology will enable providers to book rides for clients by inputting basic details and selecting a number of vehicle options to best support its users. The client (or patient) will then receive confirmation with all the required details (via smartphone if the user has one), or through a paper-based system, with transport able to be booked up to a month in advance.
All patient data will then be stored on HIPAA compliant servers, and is removed from Uber’s central data storage platforms. This will allow drivers to only be given basic client details, where they will also not be able to selectively work for the health division, unlike other areas under Uber’s umbrella.
- Microsoft releases new health solutions utilising cloud tech
- Google partners with Apollo Hospitals to launch ‘Symptom Search’
- Apple is set to establish its own health clinics for its employees
Reporting to Techcrunch that over 3mn US citizens miss medical appointments due to the fragility of the medical transport system across the US, Uber Health General Manager Chris Weber has explained that this is costing the US health transport system billions each year.
“Uber’s endeavours into healthcare trace back to 2014, when Uber first offered on-demand flu shots in large markets across the US. Since then there have been similar efforts throughout the world, from diabetes and thyroid testing in India, to subsidised rides for breast cancer screening in the US, to many more.”
The launch of Uber Health follows on from these initial projects, and build on existing ideas to support the consumer market.
The initiative will be a cost-effective solution, where organisations will only be charged for individual rides, with no additional costs attached which will impact healthcare budgets. However, the tool is not to be used as a substitute for emergency services, but will be used to support those who need to attend general appointments within the healthcare sector.
Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system.
NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion.
Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making.
In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog.
Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening.
DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.
Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges.
"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”