Health Care

Uber to deliver at-home COVID tests

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Uber is taking another step into the healthcare space with a new service that will deliver COVID-19 tests to consumer homes.

The rideshare company’s health arm, Uber Health, is partnering with at-home testing provider empowerDX. Consumers can order a testing kit from the empowerDX website without a prescription for on-demand delivery.

“Being able to access reliable COVID-19 tests is certainly an important piece of a larger public health challenge,” said Lauren Steingold Makler, head of strategic initiatives at Uber Health. “That’s why we’re proud to work with empowerDX and the larger Eurofins Clinical Diagnostics Network team to help create easy access to critical testing for our communities and vulnerable populations.”

The service will start in May and be offered in twelve cities, including Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle and Minneapolis, and is covered by most insurers, according to the companies.

As the number of people getting vaccines increases, state and county governments nationwide have reported in recent weeks a decline in COVID-19 testing. For instance, in Wake County, N.C., there were 56,000 tests done over a 14-day period in early April. That compares to 112,000 tests over 14 days in January. Public health officials say that without testing, they don’t know if the virus is still spreading and where.

Uber is increasingly delving into delivering healthcare products to homes. In May, the company said it is expanding its pharmacy delivery service to 37 states through another partnership with software platform ScriptDrop. In 2018, it started a non-emergency medical transportation service that health providers can use to schedule rides to appointments.

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