Uber Health launches in Australia

Uber Health launches in Australia

Uber has launched Uber Health, a transport solution for important medical appointments, in Australia.

By offering more patients the opportunity to connect with rides, Uber Health hopes to help providers improve appointment attendance, lower costs and improve patient satisfaction.

Trina Vincent, Research Manager at Holdsworth House, said: “We first saw a need for services like Uber Health during the peak of the pandemic when the city was in lockdown. Patients who did not have ready access to private transportation were hesitant and sometimes even unwilling to come to the clinic via public transport.

“This was especially apparent for older clients who would end up missing their appointments because they found it challenging to find their way to the clinic from Sydney’s outer suburbs. Missed appointments can add strain not only to clients’ personal health, but also affect the integrity of clinical trials we run in the clinic. We hope by using this service, it’ll help alleviate that stress of missing an appointment, by providing our clients with a safe and reliable Uber trip to and from the clinic.”

Uber observed a lack of technology used in health care to manage patients’ care plans; processes were often organised in silos and patients struggled navigating through their options for care, the company found. The solution will allow organisations to schedule, manage and pay for rides for patients and caregivers in one digital hub, enabling faster, more streamlined operations.

The Uber Health dashboard allows healthcare professionals to order rides for patients going to and from the care they need. Developed with health care in mind, key features include:

Flexible ride scheduling for patients, caregivers and staff: Coordinators can schedule rides on behalf of patients, caregivers and staff to take place immediately, within a few hours or up to 30 days in advance. This allows for transportation to be scheduled for follow-up appointments while still at the healthcare facility. Multiple rides can be scheduled and managed at the same time, all from a single dashboard.

Access for patients without a smartphone: Riders don’t need the Uber app, or even a smartphone, to get a ride with Uber Health because it’s all done through text message. Riders can even opt to receive a call with trip details to their mobile phone or landline instead. Healthcare providers can also send pick-up instructions to riders in 44 different languages via SMS.

Simple billing, reporting and management: Organisations can easily keep track of what they’re spending on rides. Reporting on requested rides and viewing monthly billing statements and appointments, and scheduling reports is simple.

Maintaining privacy: The Uber Health dashboard was specifically designed for healthcare companies to handle sensitive data, so they can safeguard patients’ information from start to finish.

Peace of mind for patients and their circles of concern: Functionalities like auto re-ordering, location sharing and round trips alleviate anxiety not only for healthcare riders, but also for their friends and family who want to ensure that patients are getting to and from the care they need. Healthcare providers can also request round trip rides for patients, ensuring they can get the care they need and find a ride back home afterwards.

Sam Brown, Head of Uber for Business ANZ, said, “This is just one of the ways we’re working to create new earnings opportunities for driver-partners, and at the same time, reducing transportation as a barrier to care for those who may not otherwise have their own way to get to or from an important appointment. We’re proud to bring this to the Australian market to help streamline healthcare transport, reduce the strain missed appointments cause and improve the overall patient experience.”

Since its launch in the US in 2018, Uber Health has seen a 71% increase in gross bookings from Q4 2020 to Q4 2021, with over 3000 customers using the service.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/hxyume

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