Uber (UBER) is about to carry more than just passengers and pizzas.
Uber Health — the segment of Uber’s business initially conceived to streamline non-emergency medical transportation — is steering its services in a new direction. It’s integrating with Uber Eats to add groceries and over-the-counter medical supplies to its delivery list.
The wheels of this initiative are already in motion, with beta testing currently underway. The company intends for the program to be fully operational by 2024.
Just What the Doctor Ordered
Uber’s new program is not just about adding groceries and cold medicine to delivery drivers’ shopping lists. Uber Health will work directly with healthcare providers to prescribe patients healthy food in order to prevent higher medical costs in the future.
It’s not just about convenience, but also contributing to a healthier lifestyle. The idea is to let the power of nutritious food and essential medical items be as accessible as calling a cab, bringing health and wellness right to your doorstep.
This follows delivery company Instacart’s move in March to enable doctors to prescribe food as medicine. And the gig economy giants aren’t the only ones to embrace this idea.
Food as Medicine
Uber is just the latest in the caravan of companies making big bets on the concept of food as medicine.
Along with Instacart, major grocers like Kroger (KR) and influential investors like Andreessen Horowitz have placed bets on the approach too. The trend could cause a paradigm shift in the healthcare industry, leveraging the power of healthy eating habits to mitigate chronic health conditions and, in turn, reduce healthcare expenses.
It might be strange to see your doctor prescribing broccoli alongside blood pressure pills. But it has the potential to help save on medical costs and ultimately lead a healthier lifestyle. And hey, if someone is willing to deliver those veggies right to your doorstep, why not take advantage?
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