The Atlantic reports that ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft are partnering with hospitals to provide patients with transportation to hospitals. That’s great news for the 3.6 million medical patients who need a checkup but don’t have access to a car.
Imagine having to catch a bus across town to get to the hospital for a routine checkup. Maybe the bus stop is a few blocks from your house. You make your way through the sweltering summer heat, but the going is slow because you are elderly and have a bad hip.
To your dismay, you finally round the corner to your bus-stop, only to watch helplessly as your ride departs without you. It’s off hours so it could be 45 minutes before the next bus arrives, and you have to sit at an uncomfortable and uncovered bench, knowing you have to go to the same process on the way home. And next week. And every week after that.
For many Americans without access to a car, this scenario is a sad reality. No wonder so many people miss crucial doctor’s appointments and hospital visits. It is physically challenging for old people to make the trip. Younger people can’t afford to take 2 hours out of there day in transportation time to the hospital. It’s just too much time off of work and away from the family. As a result, way too many people miss appointments, exposing themselves to health risks and costing hospitals money.
Smartphones To The Rescue
3.6 million Americans miss their health appointments. That’s where technology can step in to save the day.
Ride-sharing companies have already been a saving grace for people living with disabilities. As Uber and others continue to expand, they are looking for new applications and partnerships.
Some of the new directions are not very healthy (like UberEats, a super convenient way to deliver junk food to your door without ever leaving your couch). On the opposite end of the health spectrum sits Uber’s partnership with health care systems like MedStar Health.
The two allow patients to schedule rides straight from their location to the hospital. It even gives them automatic reminders about upcoming check-ups and doctor visits. The rides are covered for Medicaid patients, and are a huge timesaver and incentive to get to the doctor on time. The importance of preventive care and early detection, this could save many lives in the long run.
With the increased digitization of the healthcare field, patients should have more access than ever to doctors. And that’s a great thing.