Babylon CEO wants to make healthcare ‘accessible’ for all


The CEO of Babylon Health has said he wants the company to make healthcare “accessible” and “affordable” to all.

Speaking at the inaugural Digital Health Rewired Conference and Exhibition in London on 26 March, Ali Parsa, spoke about the AI dawn of digital health services at scale.

He opened his keynote with the story of David and Goliath – a biblical tale which is seen as one of the most famous underdog stories. 

However Parsa, who founded the private online GP consultation provider in 2014, said he believed the story reflected the power of new technology.

Parsa then went on to discuss what lies in store for healthcare and his plans for Babylon, saying “the future is coming”.

He said: ” We [Babylon] will do with healthcare what Google has done with data and what Netflix has done with entertainment and make it accessible, affordable and put in the the hands of everyone.”

Healthtech company Babylon are also behind the GP at Hand app which was launched across London in November 2017.

The app gives patients the opportunity to book appointments and talk to an NHS doctor through their smartphones.

However it has been met by fierce criticism from the likes of the Royal College of GPs, who claim the app simply “cherry-picks” the best patients.

It also sparked protests in east London in March 2018 where concerned patients gathered to chant “GP at Hand should be banned”.

When questioned by conference chair Professor Joe McDonald, who is also the chair of the Digital Health CIO Network, about the criticism facing Babylon, Parsa was surprisingly positive.

He told the audience that people flagging up potential issues is seen as a form of “quality control” for the company.

Parsa added: “We live in a democracy, people are entitled to speak their minds.”

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