Uber Health is diving into remote care this week after it inked a deal with medical supply company Henry Schein Medical and Medpod, maker of the medical microcart MobileDoc 2, on Monday. The former agreed to integrate into Medpod's platform, allowing doctors to conduct remote telediagnostic exams.
As part of the deal doctor’s using Medpod’s telediagnostic platform will be able to tap into Uber Health to send a trained practioner out to a patient, or send a patient to a clinical location and perform a remote exam. This initial announcement will be followed by a pilot of the program.
The MobileDoc 2 is still in the works. Right now, the system is patent pending, but eventually the company said it will be able to offer remote consultations. It will also have professional diagnostic tools that will be able to gather information including temperature, peripheral capillary oxygen saturation (Sp02), blood pressure, height, weight and BMI. The service will also include a “mobile medical infrastructure” with services like video chats.
WHY IT MATTERS
Missed medical appointments cost the healthcare industry billions of dollars each year. Now many are looking for ways to make both medical appointments and diagnostic exams easier for patients.
“Our new partnership with Uber Health, and launch of Medpod MobileDoc 2, will help break down barriers that had previously required diagnostic exams to take place in traditional care settings,” Jack Tawil, chairman and CEO of Medpod Inc., said in a statement. “With the MobileDoc 2’s ability to take the physician office environment into patients’ homes and other non-traditional settings, we can create new convenient care delivery options and access points for patients.”
THE LARGER TREND
The ridesharing app has been increasingly interested in the health space. Last year it officially launched its healthcare arm Uber Health at HIMSS18.
“What we did, from the ground up, we built an infrastructure,” Aaron Crowell, head of Uber Health, told MobiHealthNews in February. “We brought in consultants who were experts in those fields to make sure we were doing it right. Our data is encrypted, our staff is HIPAA-trained. Those things are really important or you can’t work in the space; we wouldn’t really be protecting the clients and organizations we work with. Obviously from a patient standpoint, [we have] GPS tracking, knowing exactly where riders are, and obviously the background checks.”
Since its launch, Uber Health has inked a number of deals including with Grand Rounds and Carisk.
However, it is hardly the only ridesharing service targeted at the health space. Lyft has become a competitor in this space as well. In fact, in June Lyft announced its move into the Medicaid space following an announcement this morning that the rideshare company has landed approval as a Medicaid provider in Arizona, specifically as a non-emergency medical transportation service. This new approval means that Arizona Medicaid patients will have the option to use Lyft to get to and from medical appointments.