Babylon Health (Babylon), the UK-based health service startup, has entered into 10 years partnership with the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) to provide an integrated health app for England. The startup had raised $550 million in August 2019 and a part of this funding would be used for the new project of developing artificial intelligence (AI) based health service app.
This new health service project is likely to ensure benefits for more than 300,000 people which is the rough estimation of the entire population of the city. As TechCrunch reported, the financial transactions of the deal are yet not confirmed and the first phase of the health app would be introduced by the end of 2020.
Babylon Health and its Existing Operations
The seven-years-old UK’s AI-based start, Babylon Health deals with the consultation for the health care services through its mobile application to help diagnose patient’s health issues. The startup provides consultancy service of the patients before they actually go to see doctors and works with several private businesses on their employees’ healthcare services.
As Babylon officials claimed, the company has delivered 4,000 clinic consultations every day which means one patient interaction every 10 seconds in August 2019. With its valuation at $2 billion, the startup chalked out plans to expand its services in 11 countries in Asia. At present, the startup has now around 4.3 million customers worldwide and has offered digital consultations to more than 1.2 million people. Babylon officials claimed that the latest deal was an ambitious project and it was the first time the company works on a project that combines both hospital and primary medical care into an all-in-one app.
Following the announcement of the new health care services project, Babylon officials claimed, “We have over 1,000 AI experts, clinicians, engineers and scientists who will be helping to make Digital-First Integrated Care a reality and provide fast, effective, proactive care to patients. Together with RWT, we can demonstrate this works and help the NHS lead healthcare across the world.” The startup also had introduced a chatbot software for the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK.
Benefits of AI technology for NHS hospitals
Artificial intelligence has globally become a key technology in the field of healthcare and medicine treatment. In the field of medical practice, AI technology basically helps in providing diagnostic services to patients and conducting research for drug discovery, disease pathology, etc. Considering the growing market for AI on health systems, many startups and investors are now in the completion to create more efficient health solution services. Nevertheless, some companies including Google’s DeepMind and BenevolentAI had already encountered controversies regarding lack of transparency on their projects with NHS deals.
Following the announcement of the deal, the CEO and founder of Babylon, Ali Parsa expressed, “We are extremely proud of this exciting 10-year partnership with RWT which will benefit patients and the NHS as a whole.” As reported by The Telegraph, “under the deal every patient will be able to Skype medics via smartphones, or receive a diagnosis by chatbots” and get appointment of General practitioners (GP) and hospitals.
Citing the project as a “transformation,” David Loughton, CEO of RWT, said the deal would allow the NHS staff to access the company’s technology including AI for examining patients’ syndromes. Keeping the view to ensure an efficient system to NHS, Babylon’s MD of NHS services, Paul Bate assured that the company committed to work respecting patient privacy and consent and would maintain transparency in handling data of the NHS.
Citing the benefits the new project for the patients, Loughton stated, “We know from our active engagement with patients of all ages and backgrounds that they are keen to use technology that will improve access and give them greater control of their own health, wellbeing and social inclusion,”
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