When a health crisis happens, tradition tells us to call 911, but now it seem the future may be in Uber.
According the a report released on Wednesday, ambulance usage is dropping in the U.S. and researchers think ride sharing services might have something to do with it.
The report collected ambulance usage rates in 766 U.S. cities. Then they compared the rates before and after Uber came on the scene (which was between 2013 to 2015). The researches concluded that Uber’s introduction to cities reduced “per capital ambulance volume by at least seven percent.”
Researchers say the reason some folks might have chosen an Uber over the ambulance is because of ambulance costs. Expenses can reach the thousands of dollars and some folks aren’t willing to shell out the money, even in the midst of an emergency.
Ride sharing apps also give passengers the option to select which hospital they want to go to. In some cases, passengers might even experience a shorter waiting time than if they rode by ambulance.
An Uber spokesman, Andrew Hasbun, told The Mercury News, “We’re grateful our service has helped people get to where they’re going when they need it the most.” He then added, “It’s important to note that Uber is not a substitute for law enforcement or medical professionals. In the event of any medical emergency, we always encourage people to call 911.”
We’ll find out what the future holds with this new development. It could definitely be the beginning of a new way for medical attention.