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Uber offers free flu shots in three US cities

Uber’s diversification away from private hire cars has taken another turn with news that it has entered the ultra competitive healthcare space.

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The new initiative, entitled UberHEALTH, allowed Uber users in Boston, New York City and Washington D.C. to order a free flu shot between 10:00 and 15:00 EST on Thursday, and it’s currently unclear if any more cities will get to take advantage of the pilot.

“We’re leveraging the reliability and efficiency of the Uber platform and launching a one-day pilot program — UberHEALTH — in select cities today. Together with our partner Vaccine Finder we will bring flu prevention packs and shots directly to you – at the single touch of a button,” stated a blog post from Uber.

For anyone worried about the medical know-how of Uber drivers, the injections were actually administered by trained nurses transported by Uber to a user’s location with each nurse allowed to offer 10 of the free flu injections at each place.

Unsurprisingly the free flu shot service was inundated with requests to the extent that Forbes’ writer Dan Diamond reported having to wait until 13:00 for a shot despite an email alert being sent out at 09:00 inviting him to use the service.

Its latest move into a market other than private hire vehicles follows a similar launch in August of its free grocery delivery “experiment” in Washington D.C. called The Corner Store. That scheme allows customers to order items from an inventory of over 100 products in the city and when it was launched there was no minimum spend.

Uber also opened up its API to third party companies back in August in a move that allows firms, such as United Airlines, to display fare and time estimates inside their app before moving over to Uber to order the car itself.

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If UberHEALTH has indeed been a success then we could see it expanded into further cities and if not it won't be long until another market gets the Uber treatment.Porthole Ad