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Tech Industry

Uber Health wants to deliver you to the doctor

The new non-emergency ride service seeks to make it easier for people to get to appointments -- and for medical staff to hail the ride for them.

uber-health

Uber Health is out of beta.

Uber

The ride-hailing service Uber has a new destination in mind for you: the doctor's office.

Citing that 3.6 million Americans miss medical appointments each year due to a lack of reliable transportation, Uber is launching Uber Health. The service, which complies with HIPAA privacy rules, partners Uber's fleet of drivers with hospitals, rehab centers, senior care facilities, physical therapy centers and more. When you schedule an appointment, a health care associate will be able to book a ride for you too, sending you the details and then reminding you again when the driver is on the way to pick you up.

Uber lets health care workers book the ride for you because it wants to keep the service accessible to people who don't own a smartphone or who aren't familiar with Uber.

"For many, their first ever Uber ride will be through Uber Health, so we're committed to providing the necessary education tools that ensure every patient feels comfortable and at ease during their journey," the company said in a statement Thursday, noting that users can choose to receive confirmation of their ride through a landline phone call instead of the usual text alert.

Uber said that over 100 health care organizations are already using Uber Health as part of a beta program. Now, that same dashboard is publicly available everywhere in the US.