This week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast is a look at what ride transportation innovator UBER is doing to forward the push to get flu vaccines around the U.S. In 36 cities around the country recently, the ride share program app UBER got together with local healthcare facilities to have a nurse travel with UBER drivers and deliver flu shots on demand for one day.
The program is called UberHEALTH and was developed in partnership with a Harvard Medical School researcher who tries to meld new and emerging technology with public health needs. Most people who need flu shots don’t get them and the primary barrier is that most see it as an inconvenience to get them each year. Even putting flu shots in grocery store pharmacy clinics and similar locations has not encouraged healthy adults to see the need to take the time to get their flu vaccine.
Increasing Vaccination Rates in Novel Ways
The UberHEALTH one day project was seen as a novel way for UBER users to get a flu shot delivered to them while they work or even at home. Interestingly, the program was such a success that demand outpaced supply. More than 2,000 patients were vaccinated but many others were told that the vaccine supply for the program was used up.
The good news was that for nearly 80% of those who were vaccinated, the fact that it was paired with their UBER service app and delivered directly to them made them go ahead and get the vaccination. Such programs could be used to vaccinate many more people in future flu seasons and this is important. The more people that get vaccinated, the less likely the flu gets transmitted from one person to another. This means less chance you’ll get the flu.
Of course, you are all getting vaccinated, right? Even though the UBER program is done for the year, you can still get vaccinated and protect yourself. Get out there to your doctor’s office or even the local pharmacy and get your flu vaccination. Most is covered by insurance and if it is not, it is very inexpensive. Get one of the oldest health technologies in your corner this flu season. Get vaccinated!
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