Business

Uber Wants To Take You To The Hospital

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor

Uber launched a new business branch called Uber Health Thursday, adding to its growingly diverse services.

The ride-sharing startup turned tech conglomerate is now offering a platform specifically for hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, healthcare providers and other similar medical institutions. It ultimately aims to better facilitate transportation for patients and healthcare establishments.

Patients will not be forced to use the main Uber app or a smartphone to enjoy Uber Health’s capabilities. “A healthcare associate books a ride on demand or for a future appointment, using the Uber Health dashboard to seamlessly coordinate riders for those in need,” the website advertises. A passenger is then contacted via text or call, which will provide necessary ride details.

“Whether it’s helping seniors regain their independence, providing newfound mobility to those living in underserved areas, or providing a safe alternative to drinking and driving, Uber has changed the way people live their lives in ways that were never expected,” Uber Health General Manager Chris Weber wrote on a company blog post. “Yet still, there’s so much more that can be done … Every year, 3.6 million Americans miss doctor appointments due to a lack of reliable transportation. No-show rates are as high as 30% nationwide.”

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The ride-hailing platform will also comply to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Some facilities are already eager and appreciative of Uber Health’s services and a partnership.

“We were thrilled to be a part of the beta program for Uber Health, as we recognized the advantage it provides,” Georgetown Home Care CEO John Bradshaw said in a statement. “And we found it to be a great tool in helping us provide convenient and safe transportation for our clients and employees.” (RELATED: Uber Forced To Pay Advocacy Group $2.38 Million For Not Picking Up Blind People)

Uber Health joins food delivery service Uber Eats — the most profitable arm of the company — and Uber Boat, a speedboat service available only in Croatia for now. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi recently said people should expect a flying taxi service in five-to-10 years.

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