Babylon Health wants to turn your smartphone into a doctor


Babylon Health, a London-based startup that allows users to set up video consultations with doctors, has raised $25 million in funding, which it claims will be used to develop an artificially intelligent medical assistant that will pre-screen users before they decide to set up a video consultation. The assistant will be built into the company’s app, and will make it so that Babylon isn’t relying solely on the 100 or so doctors that it currently employs. Pair this with the $8 million round of funding that PushDoctor, a similar service, reported last week, and it looks like British healthcare startups are really popular with investors at the moment. 

British digital healthcare startup Babylon has raised $25m, the largest series A funding round in European digital healthcare till date. The mobile app, which launched in February last year, has built an artificially intelligent “doctor” that can decode symptoms and prevent illnesses before they occur, by tracking your daily habits, and integrating data about your heart rate, diet and your medical records. Sources close to the business say it is currently valued significantly higher than $100m. Investors include successful British entrepreneurs such as the founders of Innocent Drinks and DeepMind, the Google-owned artificial intelligence company. Currently, the London-based startup offers a mobile doctor app used by 250,000 people in the UK – pay £4.99 a month, and get 7-days-a-week access to their pool of human doctors over video chat. Nearly 60 businesses including Citigroup, Sky, and MasterCard, as well as health insurance providers such as Bupa and Aviva, have partnered with Babylon to offer its services to UK employees. Babylon is also trialling a partnership with the NHS, with a new pilot in Birmingham that makes its services available to the broader UK population.

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