Uber is driving the rise of on-demand healthcare

The news: Direct-to-consumer (D2C) telehealth company Hims & Hers partnered with ride-hailing giant Uber to deliver health and wellness products to 12 new markets across the US via the UberEats apps.

Uber’s healthcare push: Uber has been teaming up with digital health startups to simplify medication delivery and reduce transportation barriers to healthcare.

  • In June, it linked up with COVID-19 vaccination coordination startup Dr.B to give free rides to individuals traveling to and from their vaccine appointment.
  • Uber has also teamed up with digital pharmacy startups NimblerRx and ScriptDrop to deliver prescription medications.

The bigger picture: Lightning-fast delivery is table stakes, and healthcare companies are adapting to these consumer expectations.

  • In fact, “on-demand” telehealth services are something most telehealth providers (including Hims & Hers and Teladoc) already offer.

What’s next? We expect to see more digital health companies team up with the likes of Uber and Lyft to make healthcare transactions and experiences more streamlined, faster, and less costly for consumers, payers, and providers.

A lack of reliable transportation often results in missed appointments and that can trickle into leaky costs for payers and providers:

  • Poor access to non-emergent medical transportation costs the US healthcare system $150 billion annually.

Both Uber and Lyft have already partnered with health systems to help patients make it to their appointments and reduce transportation-related healthcare costs.

  • But more digital health entrants will likely look to team up with these ride-hailing giants since it would be a major value-add for their consumers and clients (providers/payers).

On top of that, ride-hailing giants have growing consumer mindshare: Uber is expected to more than double its sales from $14.15 billion in 2020 to $45 billion by the end of 2023.

  • It makes sense for digital health startups to partner with Uber or Lyft and tap their consumer bases for healthcare use cases.
  • It could be a way for digital health startups to expand their customer acquisition channels.