New funding will drive a pilot project to connect patients with rides to medical appointments and address transportation barriers to health.
Lack of transportation can mean people miss important medical appointments including prenatal visits or cancer screenings.
A $208,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation will allow Indiana University Health to develop and implement a new ride software program for patients.
Jami Marsh, executive director of system philanthropic strategy for the IU Health Foundation, says the tool aims to provide better care access.
"How do we leverage innovation, tech innovation specifically, to move the needle on health?" Marsh says.
The software will be similar to a ride-sharing app. It will be piloted in Marion County and, if successful, rolled out statewide.
Marsh says the tool will help patients get to initial appointments and schedule future rides.
"The patient knows he or she has a ride to their appointment and it’s reliable and safe," says Marsh.
Last year IU Health reported an overall missed appointment rate of nearly 10 percent.