Being one of the prominent riding partner in the world Uber has literally shaped a new age of how people commute in their daily lives and has been a phenomenon around the globe- some directly and some inspiring others to follow its footsteps. And though we were all drooling over its purported flying taxis and self-driving cars, it’s recently introduced a more practical service-Uber Heath. It allows hospitals, rehab centers, and virtually any kind of healthcare institution to book rides for their patients up to 30 days in advance.
But why? Can’t the patients book a ride? Don’t they have the standard Uber app on their phone? Well, as the Uber Health general manager explained at the launch, around a third of the patients fail to show up at their medical appointments- of which, nearly 3.6 million Americans miss their appointments due the lack of reliable transportation.
To give you an insight, the new service is on a B2B model- i.e, the healthcare institutions will book the ride and not the patients themselves. Second, the service complies with HIPAA standards- that keeps the patient credentials confidential. And third, the service puts the least possible burden on actual patients- they don’t even have to have a smartphone as it works through landline as well.
This makes three things very clear:
- When it comes to healthcare, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You must explore various possible business models and pick what best serves you.
- Though it has now started to gain considerable interest, healthcare is still under-served by technology and there is ample room for experimentation and to make some money.
- Given the expertise and efficiency that Uber has in transportation and related technologies, even picking up a few tricks from its playbook can lead to immense success (Think Didi in China or Ola in India).
No, we didn’t say you should copy Uber Heath for your healthcare app but are pointing out the fact that if following Uber helps you devise your own strategy to solve any particular problem, you might have a shot at success. But before you rush to get started with your healthcare app development, there are few peculiarities and corresponding solutions that you must keep in mind:
Cost-sensitivity Is Low
This is not to say that healthcare services fall into the luxury category. They remain an essential service and cost matters but not as much as it does in other domains like eCommerce. The reason is that for the most part, healthcare is covered by insurance and because the billing is done on the institution side, patients do not even have to worry about the paperwork for claims. That is, while the consumer business of Uber loses billions of dollars each year, this B2B model has profitability ingrained from the start.
Top-notch Quality Is The Least To Deliver
This should go without saying- if you are specifically serving patients; there is no room for sloppiness. Delays can convert into missed appointments, which could further have serious repercussions. Then there is also the problem of unskilled drivers or unsafe driving and the need for additional support during pickup and drop- all of which must find serious considerations while designing your business operations.
Compliance Is Compulsory
Health care is a tightly regulated industry and so when you decide to join, you too must be ready to comply with a range of regulations. Being an application, it is important to keep the data of your customers confidential. Additionally, you may also be required to keep a detailed archive of all your business operations and related compliances.
It is quite tempting to pitch your health application as the quickest and safest way for patients to get to hospitals but you shouldn’t it’s not an ambulance service. The thing is, health care is a pretty sensitive domain were even the slightest of missteps can cost dearly. Take Uber for example- though in many areas and cases its services respond faster than ambulances, it has always urged people not to use it as one. So, unless you have a specific emergency category in your service (which itself will require a large set of compliances), make sure you mark a clear distinction between what your app does and what it does not.
So, now you know how Uber Health operates and the factors you need to consider to be able to replicate its success in other markets, there is only one key component left- technology. That too shouldn’t be tough given the huge market of mobile app developers. Plus, if you are concerned about cost, there is always the option of opting for offshore development in places like India that have over the years become the hub for mobile solutions.