An anonymous reader shares a report: Many potential emergency room patients are too sick to drive themselves to a hospital. But an ambulance can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars without insurance. This where a popular ride-sharing app can step in, while also freeing up the ambulances for those who need them most. With demand for ambulances decreased by available Uber drivers, emergency personnel have been able reach critical patients faster while also applying necessary treatment on the way to the hospital, according to a new economic study from the University of Kansas: “Given that even a reduction of a few minutes can drastically improve survival rates for serious conditions, this could be associated with a substantial welfare improvement.” The study investigated ambulance rates in 766 U.S. cities from 43 different states. Taking into account the timelines of when Uber entered each city, the researchers found that the app reduced per capita ambulance usage rates by around 7 percent.
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