Uber Technologies Inc. announced last week on Thursday its introduction of Uber Health, a way to partner with healthcare organizations to provide reliable transportation for patients. Then, on Monday, Lyft teamed up with Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: MDRX) for the same medical transportation concept as Uber.
Uber Health will allow healthcare professionals to order rides for patients to go to and from the facility. Uber is also launching an Uber Health application programming interface (API) to enable easy integrations into existing healthcare products.
Allscripts is combining its Open platform with Lyft’s API, which will be functionally integrated into Allscripts Sunrise electronic health record which will allow clinicians to hail Lyft rides for their patients.
The two see a big opportunity in the offering transportation services for medical appointments. On an annual rate, nearly 3.6 million Americans who have transportation issues that prevent them from missing or rescheduling their appointments, while 25 percent of lower-income citizens have missed their appointments as well. Both Uber and Lyft are trying to eliminate this issue while capitalizing on the opportunity.
Both companies will allow patients to schedule a ride service ahead of time, while Uber specifically states that coordinators or patients themselves can schedule rides for within a few hours or up to 30 days in advance.
But one difference is that Lyft will be using a form of a tracking dashboard to provide real-time notifications to patients about ETA, pickup locations and other informations regarding the ride. Uber will have the same, but there’s an option for its patients to schedule an Uber Health ride via a phone call or through a simple text message.
Depending on partnership, patients on medicaid can receive transportation benefits, while some clinicians can pay for the ride themselves for their patients.
Uber has over 100 hospitals or medical centers already using Uber Health and the company expects to expand the service even more. Lyft is looking to go headstrong by partnering with over 180,000 physicians to allow them to hail rides for their patients via Allscripts.