USA – Hims & Hers, a direct-to-consumer (D2C) telehealth company, has partnered with ride-hailing giant Uber to bring health and wellness products to 12 new markets across the United States through the UberEats apps.
Uber has partnered with digital health startups to reduce transportation barriers to healthcare and simplify medication delivery.
It partnered with COVID-19 vaccination coordination startup Dr.B in June to provide free rides to and from vaccine appointments.
To deliver prescription medications, Uber has also partnered with digital pharmacy startups NimblerRx and ScriptDrop.
Fast delivery has become standard practice, and healthcare organizations are adapting to meet these consumer expectations.
Most telehealth providers including Hims & Hers and Teladoc already provide “on-demand” telehealth services.
More digital health companies are expected to collaborate with ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft to make healthcare transactions and experiences more streamlined, faster, and less expensive for consumers, payers, and providers.
Missed appointments are frequently caused by a lack of reliable transportation, which can result in leaky costs for payers and providers.
The lack of access to non-emergent medical transportation costs the US healthcare system US$150 billion per year.
Uber and Lyft have already partnered with health systems to assist patients in getting to their appointments and to reduce transportation-related healthcare costs.
However, more digital health entrants will likely look to collaborate with these ride-hailing giants because it would be a significant value-add for their consumers and clients (providers/payers).
Furthermore, ride-hailing giants are gaining consumer mindshare: Uber’s sales are expected to more than double from US$14.15 billion in 2020 to US$45 billion by the end of 2023.
It makes sense for digital health startups to collaborate with Uber or Lyft in order to tap into their consumer bases for healthcare use cases. Additionally, it could help digital health startups expand their customer acquisition channels.
Demand for curb-to-curb rides has increased, particularly among Medicare Advantage (MA) beneficiaries, as more health organizations recognize the benefits of having access to additional mobility via ride-share.
In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services finalized its plan to allow MA plans to cover supplemental benefits such as home air cleaners for beneficiaries with asthma, heart-healthy food for people with heart disease, and transportation to doctor’s appointments.