Uber Doesn’t Want Anyone to Miss a Medical Appointment Again

It's working with Circulation on streamlined non-emergency transportation.


Circulation will help users get to medical appointments/Photo provided

First there was Uber, then UberX, then UberPool. Now, a totally new service is joining Uber’s arsenal.

The ride sharing company is stepping into the medical arena by partnering with Circulation, a non-emergency transportation platform. Thanks to the partnership, hospital transportation coordinators will now be able schedule—and pay for—patient rides as simply as they’d call an Uber, ensuring that nobody misses an appointment because of transportation or financial constraints.

“The traditional healthcare transportation model is severely outdated,” John Brownstein, co-founder of Circulation and chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital, said in a statement. Circulation aims to update the system and offer a “smart, digital transportation platform” that patients can customize.

The program will be piloted at Boston Children’s, three hospitals in Pennsylvania, and a health system in Delaware, with six additional states adding the service later this year.

In addition to calling rides, the service allows coordinators to update patient files with transportation schedules, notify physicians and caregivers of a patient’s arrival, and receive real-time notifications about a patient’s transportation progress.

Circulation is also customizable. The platform asks if a rider needs a wheelchair or assistance getting in and out of the vehicle, if they are hearing or vision impaired, if they travel with a caregiver, and other information that helps the system choose the best driver. Patients also receive trip reminders, and schedules can be set far in advance.

“There’s already much stress and anxiety on the part of families whose young children need regular medical care,” Michael Docktor, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Boston Children’s, said in the statement. “With Circulation, we can alleviate the added headaches that come along with traffic and parking challenges in a busy city such as Boston and ensure that parents can focus on their children—not the ride to the hospital.”