Uber Health takes you to, and from, your doctor's appointments

Uber Health takes you to, and from, your doctor's appointments”

In collaborating with Allscripts and its Open platform, Lyft has partnered with a company in the healthcare sector which provides information technology solutions to advance clinical, financial and operational results. For the 3.6 million patients across USA cities who miss or postpone their scheduled appointments due to transportation issues, no-show rates are as high as 30 percent.

Uber isn't the only ride-sharing startup that wants to take a crack at the healthcare industry.

Uber Health offers providers a way to book rides for patients, caregivers, or other medical staff through a dashboard.

Echoing sentiments from Uber, Lyft officials wrote in a blog post that it has set out to eliminate transportation barriers to healthcare, which affect approximately 3.6 million Americans today - many of whom are low-income patients.

Ensuring patients with transportation issues can get to doctors' appointments on time is one way to reduce problems related to social determinants of health. When patients schedule appointments, Allscripts' system will ask if they need transportation.

"It's very much the next extension of our entrance into health care", said Lyft's Chief Business Officer David Baga.

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The announcement comes on the heels of rival Uber's launch of Uber Health last Thursday.

There is an "emerging consensus" that ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft contribute significantly to congestion on urban streets, according to a researcher at Northwestern University. Health care organizations, of course, will make more money if those figures can be reduced.

Uber Health can be accessed either as an online dashboard or as an application programming interface (API) that software developers can integrate into their own healthcare systems.

Passengers don't need a smartphone or the Uber app in order to use the service because Uber Health sends riders notifications about their vehicle via text message. "We have been working hard to develop, implement, and customize numerous safeguards", says Uber Health's general manager. This allows for transportation to be scheduled for follow-up appointments while still at the healthcare facility. Uber is also introducing the option for riders to receive a call with trip details to their mobile phone or landline instead.

'The fact that they are only launching this service now and not in the past is because it's likely taken a while to work out the details, ' he added.

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