Kristine Fellizar
March 02, 2018 3:33 pm
Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Uber has drastically changed the transportation industry in the past few years. Now, it’s expanding its services to include the healthcare industry. On Thursday, Uber announced that they were launching Uber Health. It’s a new service designed to provide an easy way for healthcare providers to get rides for patients. The best part is, riders don’t even need the Uber app nor a smartphone to use it. Now, let’s get into how to use Uber Health.

In case you weren’t aware, transportation barriers to receiving proper healthcare is a problem in the United States. According to Uber, 3.6 million Americans miss doctor appointments each year due to a lack of reliable transportation and “no-show” rates are even as high as 30% nationwide. It’s pretty common across the country. However, “vulnerable populations” and those with chronic diseases tend to have the most issues with finding reliable transportation to a hospital or their doctor’s office.

The way it works is simple enough. Using a web dashboard, healthcare providers and medical facilities will input the patient’s name, number, and pick-up and drop-off locations. They can schedule rides on behalf of patients immediately, within a few hours, or even up to 30 days in advance, which will make scheduling follow-up appointments so much easier.

As stated earlier, riders don’t even need the Uber app or a smartphone to get a ride.

It’s all done through text. If you use the service, you’ll receive a text message that says your doctor has booked an Uber for you, as well as the ride details.

The new service can be beneficial for seniors in particular, so Uber wants to make it as easy as possible. That’s why the company is also working to provide a call feature that will allow riders to receive the messages through a landline instead.

According to Uber, over 100 healthcare organizations across the country — including hospitals, rehab centers, and senior care facilities — are already using Uber Health.

Your health at any age is super important. Transportation shouldn’t have to be a barrier. So this is a great new feature that will hopefully provide more people with the opportunity to get their healthcare needs met.