What could an UberHEALTH trial in the US mean for the health system? By Amanda Griffiths – founder My Health Career

UberHEALTHThere is no doubt that the face of health care is changing. But, how long will it be before companies like Uber are delivering an on-demand type of care?

It’s been over a year since UberHEALTH was knocking on Americans’ doors to administer influenza vaccinations.

Free one day trials were conducted on 23 October 2014 in Boston, New York City and Washington, DC and on 16 November 2014 in Chicago. Users of the HealthMap Vaccine Finder, and Uber were able to request vaccines, which were delivered, with the option for a nurse from immunization service Passport Health to administer anywhere from 1 to 10 doses of influenza vaccine to individuals in a home or workplace.

A letter published in November 2015 in Annals of Internal Medicine, the journal of the American College of Physicians, stated that vaccines were requested at 2378 sites, and that nurses vaccinated 2057 persons. 2024 persons in Chicago, Boston, and Washington, DC were invited by e-mail to complete a 4-question online survey. 486 of them (24%) completed and returned the survey and the results are as follows:

  • Respondents indicated that they were definitely likely (30.2%), somewhat likely (50.0%), or definitely not likely (19.8%) to receive the vaccine from traditional providers
  • The delivery of the vaccine was very important (78.2%), moderately important (15.6%), or not important (6.2%) to their decision to be vaccinated

The results showed that such an effort is feasible because of the availability and convenience of delivery that provides vaccination when and where the persons want it. The letter stated that “Whether such efforts are practical depends on cost-effectiveness, scalability, and other considerations that we did not address.”

If it’s possible to show scalability of a ride-sharing app and take on the taxi industry, surely it isn’t a stretch to have companies like Uber getting into the health industry? If you ask me, it isn’t a matter of IF, but WHEN. With so many services being available “on demand” don’t you think it’s time we had a look at the health industry and saw that a significant percentage of services in the future will also be delivered in this way?

Perhaps, especially for the practice owners, it’s time we considered HOW we will be delivering our services in the future so we don’t become the Blockbuster rather than the Netflix?

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Image: wikimedia commons

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