Today between 11 AM and 3 PM you can open your Uber app, select the UberHealth option and receive a flu shot from a registered nurse. Passport Health will be administering the shots and it will be available in 35 cities around the country (presumably the cities where you find Passport Health).
The details of how it works aren’t really clear to me from the post on their website. For example, is it 11 AM to 3 PM in the local time zone or is that Pacific time? Also, if I understand it right, you’re going to pay $10 for a wellness pack which includes an UberHEALTH water bottle, tissues, hand sanitizer, lollipop and recyclable UberHEALTH tote. It looks like when they deliver this wellness pack, a Passport Health nurse will provide up to 10 “free” Flu shots. I guess you could say it’s a $10 flu shot since you have to buy the wellness pack to get the flu shot. Or 10 $1 flu shots assuming you have 10 friends around that want a flu shot as well. It’s still a good price for a flu shot and convenient that they come to you.
Unfortunately I’m in Las Vegas and that’s not one of the participating cities. So, I’d love to hear from readers how this goes and what the experience is really like. (Side Note: For new Uber users, here’s a link to get a free $15 ride on Uber.) They expect demand for Uber Health to be high. I guess that means they’re not willing to pay surge pricing to get you your Uber Health services? Of course, the real issue probably isn’t Uber drivers, but is instead the number of Passport Health nurses they have available to provide the flu shots. I guess they don’t have surge pricing available for nurses yet (chew on that idea).
In related news, John Brownstein, Ph.D., the Director of Computational Epidemiology Group at Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School (that’s a mouthful), has joined Uber as their first health care adviser. We’ll see if they start offering more Uber Health services beyond just the flu shots not that they have John on board.
Their new health care adviser has also been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and they aptly note the need for convenience in the methods we deliver health care. Convenience has become so important in all of our decisions, so it should come as no surprise that our decision to get health services (like a flu shot) or not is very dependent on how convenient it is to obtain that service.
What do you think of Uber’s involvement in health care? Will this become a really big part of their business and important component of health care? Is this the return of house calls?