London-based health startup, Babylon has just signed a deal with Samsung to offer its digital health service in the UK. In fact, Samsung has agreed to pre-install this technology on its new devices sold in the UK, according to Financial Times. The financial details of the deal are not disclosed.
Samsung Health has launched ‘Ask an Expert, powered by Babylon’, an AI-powered medical service on Samsung Galaxy phones. The app will allow users to book appointments to consult doctor through video chat 24/7. Other than this, the users can also seek precise information about physical health, common ailments and symptoms directly from the app. Babylon utilizes artificial intelligence technology to analyze users’ health information made available through digital cross-examination.
“Babylon’s mission is to make healthcare accessible and affordable and to put it into the hands of everyone on Earth. It’s very exciting to know that millions of Samsung users will soon be able to better manage their health using Babylon’s services as we deliver personal health assessments and treatment advice via their Samsung Galaxy devices.” – Dr. Ali Parsa, Babylon’s Founder & CEO
This feature will be available within Samsung Health app from now onwards. All these digital health services come with a cost. Users will have to pay £50 as an annual fee or £25 for a one-off appointment. Samsung will share the revenue earned from the app with Babylon. The Korean electronics company will also pay the latter a license fee for using its technology.
Exploring Digital Health Service
By associating with Babylon’s digital health service, Samsung has hit the competition with Apple Health and Google Fit, notes by FT.
“We’re excited to be welcoming ‘Ask an Expert, powered by Babylon’ to the Samsung Health app. Now our customers will be able to look after their health from wherever they are – whether it’s checking a symptom or talking to a doctor – all within a few simple taps.The availability of the Babylon service within the app is another milestone for Samsung as we move towards a more connected, healthy world.” – Kyle Brown, Head of Technology and Services at Samsung UK.
Similarly, the healthcare start-up founded in 2014, Babylon has further spread its wings in the UK for private medical care. Presently, it has partnered with UK’s National Health Service to provide the similar AI-powered medical services. The app is called ‘GP at Hands’ and the government compensates for the users who switch to the service.
Dame Barbara Hakin, Former GP and National Director in NHS Englanditerate, “I know just how difficult times are for GPs these days and how busy they are. GP at Hand, in addition to being very convenient for patients, can help the service given the recruitment crisis we know is facing us.” However, the health startup has not achieved a drastic response from this platform.
Other Tie-ups of Babylon
Recently, Babylon has signed a major deal with Tencent, the Chinese internet group. The group will offer Babylon AI-powered medical care services through its chat application WeChat, which has one billion active users.
Moreover, the digital health service provider has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s ministry of health also.
Turning to compliance the recently rolled out GDPR, Babylon has mentioned that it does not share the user information with partners such as Samsung or Tencent.
On the flip side, Babylon is facing a major backlash from UK’s mainstream doctors. They argue that Babylon selects only those patients who are easier to treat. It deprives clinics for funds that can be utilized for treat serious health patients.