LAWRENCE, Kan. — More people are choosing to call an Uber instead of calling an ambulance in case of emergency, according to a study.
The University of Kansas study found the use of Uber in several cities across the country reduced “per capita ambulance volume by at least seven percent” in low-risk emergency situations.
The study looked at the ambulance rates in 766 U.S. cities in 43 states and found that as Uber entered their markets between 2013 and 2015, the ambulance usage rate decreased by seven percent.
According to David Slusky, assistant professor of economics at the University of Kansas, it could be because ambulance trips are costly to patients and their insurance companies.
The study said it could be ideal for patients who are too sick to drive, but don’t need medical attention during the drive.
They report that some insurance companies are even offering a $50 gift card to take an Uber instead of an ambulance.
The trend could also help save lives by reducing ambulance wait times for those who need it faster, researchers said.