Uber Technologies Inc, the American multinational transport and food delivery services conglomerate, is pushing its new healthcare initiative, Uber Health, to provide patients with reliable transportation to and fro the healthcare facility.
Uber’s approach towards the new Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) is bound to a blockchain platform called Solve.Care, in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards. The healthcare services aim to provide mobility to patients, especially for those who might not have access to smartphones or reliable transportation.
The Uber Health API provides for various features such as fluid scheduling for patients with real-time tracking, convenient payment processing options with detailed billing information, error-free records and patient incentives; all this through a simple text message. The beta program is currently being used by over 100 healthcare centers in the US.
Uber Health head, Dan R Trigub, said:
“Every year, an estimated 3.6 million Americans miss their medical appointments due to a lack of reliable transportation, with the cost of missed primary care appointments estimated at USD 150 billion annually. Via our HIPAA-compliant solutions, we are working to facilitate rides for patients who might not have access or the ability to use smartphones, and to improve access to care for patients with mobility issues.”
A blockchain role
Of late, blockchain technology has been highly relied upon for advancements in the healthcare sector. As discussed earlier, the technology is being considered as a sophisticated tool to bring about streamlined services for healthcare professionals.
A primary reason for the adoption traces back to the ability of the technology to meet with the privacy and smooth interoperability requirements of the sector. Healthcare interoperability has always been a significant necessity for the medical field to prevent mismatch of patient data. CBMI Director Shaun Grannis said that one in five patients within the same center don’t have their records matched accurately. Needless to say, this could result in grave harm for the patients. To address these issues, the medical industry has been testing blockchain for seamless data exchange.
Solve.Care is a healthcare and blockchain solutions company which will incorporate its personal healthcare coordination and administration app, Care.Wallet for Uber Health services. As per the press release, the application will allow patients to schedule their rides according to appointments. The platform aims to provide utmost convenience by offering a secure interface for the benefit of the patients, insurers, staff and the healthcare organizations.
Essentially, the platform will tie the several components of the healthcare network under one roof while making necessary information available to the respective entities. The appointments will be recorded publicly, whereas confidential data will be kept private. This is a crucial step as traditional directories are prone to errors and outdated date with no provision for changes.
According to the data reviewed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the accuracy of 108 providers, more than half of provider directory locations listed in 64 Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) online directory were reported to have had at least one type of error. The types of errors from the report included the provider not being at the location listed, incorrect phone numbers or the provider was not accepting new patients when the directory indicated that they were.
Care.Wallet also incorporates a Care.Card called “How Are You Feeling Today” (HAYFT) which keeps the patients engaged with the family members and doctors while keeping a check on their health and well-being.
Pradeep Goel, CEO of Solve.Care said:
“Our company is the first blockchain solution to effectively coordinate care between the patient, provider, and payer. Care.Wallet for Family gives users control and power in a manner people have not had before. This is the beginning of a truly redefined healthcare experience for families around the world.”
According to research, the global healthcare market is expected to spend USD 5.61 billion on blockchain technology solutions by 2025. Distributed ledger technology is being implemented in many industries to foster cost-cutting and elimination of intermediaries. Elimination of the intermediaries eventually saves up time which is very essential in critical cases. The transparency offered by blockchain is one of the key factors responsible for its rising popularity and as for the healthcare centers.
While there are numerous startups exploring the trend, blockchain along with artificial intelligence (AI) are at the apex of extensive research to transform healthcare. Last year, a consortium of seven major US healthcare companies with 22 million members initiated research on the potential of Blockchain.
Forbes Councils member Robert Lord said that the immutability that blockchain offers is advantageous in fighting integrity-based attacks. Consequently, there will be a clear mitigation of record tampering by insiders which could otherwise hamper institutional reputation.
In a nutshell, blockchain is being considered as a vital use-case for the health industry. With Uber Health, the technology provides a glimpse into a future where healthcare providers and caregivers can see exactly when a patient will arrive. Perhaps this mainstream adoption only bears witness to how major corporations are rooting for blockchain solutions.
Florence Hudson, Founder and CEO of FDHint, LLC said:
“Blockchain technology is definitely on the ‘hype cycle’. Now is the time for technology and healthcare leaders around the world to work together to bring blockchain into the reality cycle. Blockchain will be deployed across the healthcare industry to improve secure healthcare data sharing toward the goal of precision medicine, accelerating research, and improving healthcare outcomes. This will include use cases in personal health records, wearables, lab sample data management, supply chains, and research.”
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