- Uber, the mobile app that allows you to order a private driver from your phone, recently took its first step into healthcare delivery. UberHEALTH let users in Boston, Washington DC and New York City order free flu shots this past Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Uber users were able to order up to 10 shots in one location. The company's drivers took registered nurses to the site to administer the shots. The company partnered with Vaccine Finder to provide the shots.
- Though some people did receive shots, some consumers who tried to take advantage of the promotion faced hurdles. For example, healthcare writer Dan Diamond wrote in Forbes that he didn't receive the email alerting him of the promotion until 1 p.m. He tried the site, but was unable to order the shot.
There were obviously challenges with Uber's flu shot pilot, but Diamond notes that it did prove to raise awareness and create buzz. It also speaks to a quickly-growing trend toward the desire to increase mobility in healthcare. People used to have to make an appointment and visit a healthcare provider to get a flu shot. Then they were able to drive through a clinic. Now the shots are coming to them.
Google has also jumped into the bring-the-doctor-to-the-patient ideology. The IT giant is working with Scripps Health and One Medical Group on a new telehealth pilot program in Google Hangouts. When an individual using the search engine queries for a handful of conditions like strep throat or food poisoning, the option "talk with a doctor now" will appear on their screen, allowing them the opportunity for a free e-visit with a physician.