Health

UberHealth: Caring for aging parents from afar

Image Credit: Flickr

Getting your elderly parents to see a doctor can be tough. “I’m fine,” they quaver, though that “little cough” could be bronchitis — or the spike in blood pressure may signal heart disease. Yet it’s not only a question of persuasion; there’s also the matter of managing a senior’s health when you live halfway around the world.

A trio of college friends who faced these problems in their own families developed a solution: UberHealth. Launched in April, the New Delhi, India-based service offers complete cloud- and mobile-based preventive health care packages for seniors. The initial response has been so positive that UberHealth is already rolling out family health care packages.

“There was no way to make sure our parents in India were getting the best health care — and no way to track their health from a distance,” said co-founder and chief marketing officer Ajay Pal Singh in an interview with VentureBeat. “UberHealth is an end-to-end solution. Once a person buys our package, we take care of everything from scheduling to transportation to billing, tests, and maintaining all health records online and in hard copy.”

The most critical need, said Singh, is having a doctor on call. Even if a senior is willing to see a doctor, they often don’t have the means or the mobility to get there on their own. UberHealth sends a GPS-enabled car to bring the elder directly to the medical appointment — or in some cases, to bring the doctor to them.

Once folks enroll in UberHealth, most people opt for a full body check-up, which includes 80+ tests and covers just about every profile possible with a blood test. But UberHealth pitches the offspring, not their aging parents.

“When a child says, ‘I have paid for this service and you need to use it,’ parents feel good that their children are taking care of them,” said Singh. “In Indian society, it is a matter of pride and gossip to say, ‘My children arranged a service for me to go to the doctor.'”

UberHealth, incorporated under Maverick Eservices Pvt Ltd., is expanding throughout India with eventual plans to go global.

“We started it for nonresident Indians whose parents are alone in India. But many people asked if they could use the service for themselves and their spouse, etc. So we decided to expand to full family care, as there is no change in philosophy or vision for us.”

Ultimately, “we want to bring the ‘care’ back into health care,” said Singh.


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2 comments
Wayne Caswell
Wayne Caswell

I hope this becomes a trend since it can (1) help to lower the healthcare costs, (2) help relieve overburdened and unpaid family caregivers, and (3) help save the family's estate. See http://www.mhealthtalk.com/2012/12/home-renovations-can-save-the-estate/.


I also like it because of elderly parents are more likely to participate if the program is provided and paid by their children. They'll be more likely to attend the doctor appointments and more likely to adopt supporting technologies that can remotely monitory their activity and health.