As just about everything is handled remotely, start-up organizations continue to make the news by implementing Uber-style experiences and on-demand healthcare services.
While having doctors and nurses on demand initially seems like a great idea, is an Uber for healthcare even possible?
The Uber Components
We have the technology to change the traditional house call, but is it realistic to keep the services low-cost and efficient, as Uber has achieved? Obviously there are more licensed drivers than licensed doctors, so resources would have to be allocated differently. The strengths of Uber are that the service can be requested with a push of a button, is typically cheaper and faster than a taxi, and shows the user customer ratings for the selected driver.
Uber itself briefly tried to discover the healthcare industry as UberHEALTH, which offered to deliver flu shots in select markets for one day last fall. However, healthcare professionals were not driving the vehicle, but instead Uber drivers transported registered nurses to the requested location. When you seach for “UberHealth” on the Uber website, you can see that there hasn’t been much posted since this one-day program in 2014.
We wrote about various healthcare home service apps a few months ago, including Pager, and also reported on the apps DiabetesHelper and Alert in a separate post, which planned to partner with Uber to offer the ability to quickly request a car within the app.
With these recent developments in the industry, I wonder what else is possible in the nearby future. Is there an app that, in case of an emergency, could show you the nearest licensed healthcare professional and send a notification to request help? If not already, chances are there will be soon.
While there are more convenient healthcare options for the wealthy in select markets, they may not be available for everyday citizen. It seems that there has to be some kind of trade off to the traditional doctor visit, such as seeing a nurse practitioner instead of a specialist for your condition, or paying more for faster service.
Read more about our Everything As a Service trend (#5 in Consumer Trends).