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.
NHS care homes are better than private, report finds
A new survey has found that 60% of people with parents in NHS care homes believe the quality of care has improved, compared to just 49% of respondents with parents in private care facilities.
The survey was conducted by Kepler Vision Technologies, an AI-driven company formed at the University of Amsterdam. It was carried out among UK adults with parents over the age of 75.
Respondents cited more capable care staff and better monitoring systems as being the main reasons for improvement.
However those who do not have parents in assisted living facilities had a different viewpoint - in this case only 35% of respondents believe that NHS facilities are improving, compared to 32% who believe it is only improving in the private sector.
Only 18% of people whose parents live with them or independently believe care home staff are able to look after residents to a good standard.
Kepler Vision say this difference in opinion is due to perceived budget cuts and financial pressures, with 67% of people commenting that a lack of funding has had a negative effect on care in both NHS and private care facilities.
Other key findings of the survey include:
* Out of those who say quality has declined in care homes, 69% say the NHS is dealing with budget cuts and increased financial pressure, while 65% also said that the private system is dealing with these pressures too
* 55% said that they or their parent have money saved specifically to pay for their future care
* 35% said the idea of their parent in a care home makes them feel frightened, although 32% say it makes them feel secure
* 52% are worried about their parent catching COVID
* 47% are worried about their parent being lonely
* 46% are concerned they could fall over alone
The announcement of this research follows the UK government's decision to delay presenting its social care budget till the autumn.
Commenting on the research, Dr Harro Stokman, CEO of Kepler Vision Technologies said: “While it is good to see that people recognise the importance of staff and face-to-face interaction in elderly care, the huge gap in opinion between those with parents in care and those without shows that there are unfair negative perceptions around the residential care space.
"More can and should be done by care homes to give people the confidence that their relatives will receive the very best care - by highlighting the excellent work of staff and how well they are able to monitor resident’s needs with easy-to-use technology.”