Uber is the latest to join big tech's race into healthcare

Uber is the latest to join big tech's race into healthcare

Uber is the latest to join big tech's race into healthcare

Uber Health claims the new service will help to alleviate the estimated 3.6 million missed doctor's appointments each year in the United States, especially for chronically ill, elderly and frail patients with limited transportation and communication options.

Coordinators working for the healthcare organizations will be able to schedule individual appointments for patients, caregivers and staff, or repeat rides for those who need it.

An Uber waits for a client in New York City.

Instead, rides and arranged by the health professionals on a dashboard, with notifications sent to the patient via SMS message, and there are plans afoot the extend this to a phone call for those who might miss a text.

Hospitals, rehab centers, and senior care facilities -and more than 100 organizations across the US - are already using a beta version of the program.

Lyft offers a similar service in partnership with Hitch Health, which also helps in-need patients get to non-emergency medical appointments.

On March 1, Uber announced a new service that will transport users to and from healthcare facilities.

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Uber has been piloting its health service since last summer. Since Uber Health would be a boon for countries where auto ownership is low.

"If there are people who are missing their appointments because they're using an unreliable bus service to get to and from their healthcare provider, this is a great solution for them", Chris Weber, general manager of Uber Health, told The Verge.

Numerous rides are provided to people who can't drive-either because of age, poverty or medical condition-and Medicare and Medicaid providers cover at least some of the cost of transportation.

The healthcare companies are charged at the standard rate for Uber in their area, including surge pricing.

Everyone needs to visit a doctor at some point, but not everyone can drive there.

Uber Health is compliant with the US's health care rules on data privacy, known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.

Healthcare organizations can schedule rides for patients and employees through the existing Uber online network, according to the site. (The company hasn't yet said if it will.) People with disabilities have had longstanding issues accessing public transportation, traditional taxis, and ride-hailing services. This allows for transportation to be scheduled for follow-up appointments while still at the healthcare facility.

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