We all know by now that telehealth is on the rise. In fact, the telemedicine market alone is expected to hit a $130.5 billion valuation by 2025. Given the potential, brands in and out of healthcare have been tailoring their services for the opportunity to enter the market. Uber is now moving themselves up on the list of top contenders with their new deal.

Uber Health, the ride-hailing company’s HIPAA-compliant technology solution for healthcare organizations, struck a deal to streamline doctors’ use of Medpod’s MobileDoc 2 – a portable case stocked with medical devices such as EKGs that enable remote consultations. This marks Uber Health’s first public move into healthcare logistics.

"If a doctor is examining a patient remotely and needs to get equipment on them, he can dispatch a unit to the patient," said Jack Tawil, chairman and CEO at Medpod.

Here’s how it works: Medpod allows doctors affiliated with the company to request Uber to shuttle a medical assistant – equipped with MobileDoc 2 in hand – to a patient’s home to perform a teleconsultation. If after the visit the doctor deems a post-consultation necessary, patients can use Uber’s ride-hailing service to visit the doctor’s office for additional care. The service is currently in a testing phase, launching in 15 U.S. markets.

“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,” said Tawil.

In addition, Uber Health’s new deal also includes professional diagnostic tools with Medpod’s remote consultations that will be able to gather important information such as temperature, peripheral capillary oxygen saturation (SpO2), blood pressure, height, weight and BMI. The service will also provide mobile medical infrastructure like video chats.

According to Todd Stack, the senior director and general manager for Medpod, their deal with Uber Health helps medical professionals “get closer to patients, gives them better access to care at a lower cost."

Why This Matters – 

Since launching in March 2018, Uber Health has immersed itself into the industry by way of partnerships to provide chauffeur services to injured workers, clinical trial participants and self-insured employer members to medical appointments. But, with their increasing interest in the health market and competitor, Lyft, making its own move in the Medicaid space with recent approval, the company has been in search of 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,” said Tawil.

Given the company’s growing interest in the health space, some are asking what could be next as Uber deviates from solely providing shuttling services for patients. One possibility could be Uber Health’s entry into drug delivery by providing patients an option to deliver prescriptions right to their doorstep. With Uber Health up and running, success of their Medpod deal might just mark the future of medical delivery services for the company.

About the Author:

Khye Tucker is an Innovation Strategist in Columbus, OH. With a passion for writing and a background in communications, Khye strives to bring brand stories to life through a fresh perspective, innovative thinking and creative storytelling.