The ride-share service has teamed up with empowerDX, an at-home health testing company baed in Framingham, Massachusetts.
The tests were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use in October 2020.Customers in cities including Austin, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Seattle and Tampa can order the empowerDX kit directly from the website without a prescription.
Users can order the empowerDX at-home kit Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm and receive the delivery on the same day, even in as little as one hour.
Those who order outside of the time window or on a weekend will have their kit shipped instead, even if they live in a ZIP code eligible for delivery with Uber.
Because empowerDX’s tests are completely covered by most insurance carriers, they will not cost a cent.
If customers choose to pay with a credit card, the test will cost $99.
Every kit comes with step-by-step instructions, a shallow nasal swab, a test tube and a pre-paid FedEx package to send the samples to a laboratory.
Results are available within 48 hours of the lab receiving the test, and can be accessed through empowerDx’s online portal.
empowerDX brands itself as the most sensitive test on the market because it needs very little amount of virus to offer a positive result.
According to the FDA, the nucleic acid amplification test-detectable units (NDU) per milliliter (NDU/mL) – the amount of viral genetic material needed per milliliter of nasal fluid to get a positive result – is 180 NDU/mL.
By comparison, tests run by the Quest Diagnostics lab need 1,800 NDU/mL and tests run by Everlywell, another at-home testing company, need 5,400 NDU/mL.
‘Access to care has been a key social determinant of health for years and years, and the pandemic has augmented this issue,’ said Lauren Steingold Makler, head of Strategic Initiatives at Uber Health, in a statement.
‘Being able to access reliable COVID-19 tests is certainly an important piece of a larger public health challenge.
‘That’s why we’re proud to work with empowerDX and the larger Eurofins Clinical Diagnostics Network team to help create easy access to critical testing for our communities and vulnerable populations.’
Uber and empowerDX plan to expand test kit delivery to many more cities in the coming weeks, but it is unclear where.
This not the first healthcare-related partnership Uber has entered into over the course of the pandemic.
In February, Uber partnered with Walgreens to offer free rides to vaccination clinics in cities such as Atlanta, Chicago and Houston.