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Uber Health arrives in Australia

August 23 / US

Since the early days of Uber, the simple interaction of ‘tap a button and get a ride’ has changed people’s lives, providing accessibility where there previously was none, or simply by driving reliability, transparency and efficiencies in the way we move around. 

We work to reimagine the way the world moves for the better. 

That’s why today we are launching Uber Health in Australia, bringing Uber’s greater mission to healthcare organisations and patients across the country. 

Uber Health offers a transport solution for patients, medical staff and caregivers, ensuring that whether it’s a routine medical appointment, critical home care visit or trip to the laboratory or clinic, the transportation experience for any party is seamless. 

Missed medical appointments have implications for patients’ individual health outcomes, put increased strain on the healthcare system and its limited resources, and have a financial impact on the economy.

By ensuring that more patients and staff are connected with rides, Uber Health enables providers in Australia to improve appointment attendance, lower costs and improve patient satisfaction – increasingly meaningful measures for healthcare organisations. 

Uber observed a lack of technology used in the healthcare industry to manage patients’ care plans, with processes often organised in silos. Now, Australian organisations using Uber Health will be able to schedule, manage, and pay for rides for patients and caregivers in one digital hub, enabling faster, more streamlined operations. Riders don’t need the Uber app or a credit card to make use of this service. 

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 client’s 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.“

Developed with healthcare in mind, key features of the Uber Health dashboard and API  include:

  • Improved patient experience: 
    • Access for patients without a smartphone. Riders don’t need to have a smartphone, the Uber app or a credit card to make use of these services; they can receive text messages or landline calls with their trip and vehicle details in more than 20 different languages.
    • Ride tracking transparency. Riders with smartphones are sent a link to follow the trip so they can more easily find their drivers during pickup 
    • Rider privacy. The Uber Health dashboard was specifically designed with healthcare companies in mind, so you can safeguard your 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.
  • Easy coordinator experience: 
    • Easy coordination. 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, as single rides, round trips, or recurring rides. 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.
    • Prioritising a “closed loop” of care: Trips that need attention are flagged for intervention, letting coordinators claim ownership of follow-up, enabling your team to ensure that everyone is getting the attention they need. 
  • Operational efficiencies for cost reduction and better outcomes:
    • Budget transparency. Organisations can easily keep track of what they’re spending on rides so you can track how Uber Health helps improve operational efficiencies.  Reporting on requested rides and viewing monthly billing statements, appointments, and scheduling reports is simple, making it easy for you to measure the cost reductions gained by getting people to their preventative appointments, increase discharge and no-shows throughput or closing care gaps by getting caregivers easily to clients. 

Australia is an innovative market, and Uber Health is the latest technology solution we’re trialling in the first market outside of the US.

Sam Brown, Head of Uber for Business ANZ, said: “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. Uber Health helps to reduce transportation as a barrier to care for those who may not otherwise have their own way to get to or from an important appointment, and is also just one of the ways we’re working to create new earning opportunities for driver-partners.”

Uber Health is committed to helping remove barriers to care for those who need it most. Since its successful launch in the US in 2018, Uber Health has seen a 71% increase in gross bookings from Q4 2020 to Q4 2021, illustrating increasing demand and the ripe opportunity the Uber app has to address burgeoning healthcare concerns like patient transportation and critical deliveries.

Over 3000 customers use Uber Health in the US. Following a pilot across Australia, the solution is now officially available to providers nationwide.