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Reimagining transportation to improve healthcare for older people
Older adults often miss medical appointments because they are unable to get the hospital or doctor’s office. A lack of transportation has been shown to be a major factor. The inability to get around also leads to social isolation and loneliness and could contribute to the failing health of many senior citizens. In the age of on-demand car services, younger generations take for granted the ability to hail a relatively cheap ride, but older people are less likely to embrace the technology that makes it possible. This may be about to change, with an inspiring collaboration between several organizations with an interest in helping older people get around. The ride sharing company Lyft has teamed up with the University of Southern California (USC) Center for Body Computing and the AARP Foundation to pilot a program to connect senior citizens with transportation. With a $1 million grant from the insurance company UnitedHealth, the aim is to study how the health of older populations can be improved by helping them become more mobile. Lyft’s Dan Trigub (@datrigub) works on projects to develop the company’s healthcare partnerships. In this in-depth interview he explains how the pilot scheme will work; why he views Lyft as more than just a service to take millennials to bars; how driverless cars could help older people with physical challenges; and why he believes his 3-year old son will never know what it means to have a driving license.
More information: Pilot project announcement at USC Body Computing Conference