Uber has partnered with London-based startup Cera to allow its drivers to be used by caregivers and patients in the U.K. Cera offers care-related services to elderly people, enabling anyone to book emergency or long-term care from a smartphone. Also, the platform lets family members communicate directly with the caregiver and receive updates on how things are progressing.
Cera is mostly working with private healthcare services, but has also signed a deal with several London hospitals that work under the UK's National Health Service (NHS) umbrella. This in turn will see NHS paying for a caregiver's Uber transport, presuming the ride-hailing service is deemed to be the most efficient and cost-effective way to travel to see a patient.
Additionally, those requiring care will be able to book cars through UberASSIST or through UberWAV, which offer specially equipped vehicles driven by people with special training.
"Uber's mission is for everybody to have access to reliable, safe and affordable transportation, and this partnership brings us a step closer to making that a reality," Jo Bertram, regional general manager at Uber, said in a statement. "Simply by tapping a button on our app, carers will be able to get to people quickly and efficiently, while those with mobility needs will have the freedom to get out and about."
Cera's cofounder and president Dr. Ben Maruthappu is also pleased with the deal saying that the two parties will "radically integrate care and transport through technology." He also added: "Older people and those with disabilities will now have access to the highest quality drivers, while carers will be able to efficiently travel to ensure they can provide services in the right place at the right time."