- Uber Health appointed its first chief medical officer in a bid to focus on addressing populations' clinical needs at scale, the ride-hailing company said.
- The new CMO, Michael Cantor, is a geriatrician with more than two decades of experience in the healthcare industry, including designing care programs for older adults and vulnerable populations.
- Uber also shared some new business growth metrics on Tuesday — its first time giving specific numbers around its performance. Uber Health recorded a more than 70% increase in gross bookings in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared with the same period in 2020, and has boosted its customer base to over 3,000 clients, about double what it had in 2020.
San Francisco-based Uber launched its health division in 2018, directly competing with other non-emergency medical transportation companies or brokers like Veyo, Roundtrip and Circulation. Some NEMT players have accused large rideshare companies that have stepped into NEMT — notably, Uber and Lyft — of not having the healthcare experience or specialization of vehicles and services to address the needs of some populations.
Despite that, Uber has invested heavily in the division and gradually expanded its services from NEMT to meal and prescription delivery, signing several high-profile partnerships along the way.
Cantor said in a statement he's seen firsthand the importance of leveraging transportation to improve outcomes and allow patients to live independently in the community. The physician has served as chief medical officer at a number of companies since 2009 including elder-care tech company Intuition Robotics, insurtech startup Bright Health, home health benefit management company CareCentrix and physician network the New England Quality Care Alliance, according to his LinkedIn profile. Cantor also served as deputy medical director of UnitedHealthcare's New England division from 2006 to 2008.
Cantor's expertise will help Uber address holistic needs across the healthcare ecosystem, according to Uber Health head Caitlin Donovan. He will serve as CMO on a part-time basis.
Uber Health experienced growth in 2021 as the pandemic drove continued demand for patient transportation and delivery services. Over the past year, the division has partnered with a number of other companies, including senior-care platform Papa and e-prescription startup Scriptdrop, in a bid to expand its offerings. Uber also announced a partnership with pharmacy behemoth CVS Health last week in which Uber agreed to provide transportation as part of a CVS initiative to reduce health disparities for at-risk communities.
Uber doesn't break out details about Uber Health in its financial filings, though management has said it's a key priority for the publicly traded company and has made investments in increasing the size of the unit.
Still, even as the pandemic drives demand for medical transportation services, larger ride-hailing companies continue to struggle overall, reporting losses in 2020. More recently, Uber reported a $2.4 billion net loss in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $1.1 billion in the year-earlier quarter and down from a profit of $1.1 billion in the second quarter.