Uber (UBER) is planning to use its dominance in the fast-growing food delivery industry to carve a toehold in the vast and complex health services sector.
At the CB Insights Future of Health conference this week, the ride-sharing giant’s health chief explained how the company is moving to leverage Uber Eats to address very specific needs of patients that lack access to reliable transportation, or simply can’t get around on their own.
Uber Health’s focus has been on partnering with providers and transportation brokers to get patients to and from appointments. Currently, the company doesn’t have the infrastructure to bill health plans or a government payor, Trigub said.
Uber seems to have had an “oops our business model doesn’t work” moment and are now throwing everything they can think of at the wall to see what sticks.
First it was integrating public transit (which has already been solved much better by CityMapper & Google Maps.) Now with this health move, that seems like a weird and obscure market… unless they’re going after ambulances? Truly strange. (Although admittedly if they have algorithms for where to deploy cars for the lowest wait time when serving customers that could be handy here.)
This smells of desperation to try and stay relevant while they continue to hemorrhage investor cash and frantically try to make self-driving cars work.
But self-driving cars may never work, both from a technical perspective (it’s a hard problem) and a logistical one (simply too many cars on the road, unsuitable infrastructure.)