Boston-based startup Circulation just announced it has launched a digital service, powered by health care systems and Uber’s APIs, to offer patients a means of non-emergency medical transportation. And the venture said it will first be piloting its service first with Boston Children’s Hospital, in addition to select hospitals within Mercy Health System in Pennsylvania and Nemours Children’s Health System in Wilmington, Delaware.
The traditional healthcare transportation model is severely outdated.
“The traditional healthcare transportation model is severely outdated,” John Brownstein – co-founder of Circulation, healthcare advisor to Uber, professor at Harvard Medical School and research faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital – said in a statement. “Every patient’s experience begins and ends with their ride, which is why the integration of Uber and Circulation offers a smart, digital transportation platform for healthcare that customizes rides around patients’ specific needs and ensures they get the care they deserve.”
Here’s how Circulation works: Users who log into the HIPAA-compliant service first go through a process to verify their health insurance and ride eligibility. Once that’s completed, Circulation pulls their contact information and medical history from EMRs. Hospitals can then use the service to set up and manage patient transportation, which can be done in advance or on a recurring basis. They can also determine if patients have any additional needs that might affect the vehicle giving them a ride, including wheelchair accessibility and caregiver assistance.
Through Circulation, patients can have an uberX or an uberXL (or, in some cities, an UberACCESS) pick them up. Additional features include ride reminders and notifications, billing and payment methods, and vehicle tracking for hospital administrators who want to ensure patients arrive safely.
“We’re very proud of this integration and thrilled to call Circulation our Preferred Healthcare Platform Partner,” Meghan Joyce, East Coast regional general manager at Uber, said in a statement. “Circulation is unique in that it seamlessly connects healthcare information systems to a dependable, low-cost, end-to-end platform that simplifies and improves patient transportation logistics. Through Circulation, hospitals now have a viable option for modernizing their non-emergency medical transportation and can easily request an Uber when they need one.”
After Circulation completes its pilot, it plans to start its services in six additional states by the end of the year.
Featured image via Mark Warner, CC BY 2.0.