The true cost of healthcare: how technology is enabling the patient journey
Written by Darshak Sanghavi
, 4 min read
This fall, Babylon conducted a national survey of 5,000 adults in the U.S. to understand their perspective on the cost of healthcare – whether it is truly affordable and accessible and how technology is shaping trends. What we found was surprising – and also points the way forward to healthcare in the post-Covid world.
Here are our biggest takeaways from the survey:
Americans struggle mightily with getting the care they need in a timely and accessible manner.
One in five people can’t easily find primary care doctors, which is a problem since they are the gateway to navigating one’s health. Half of those surveyed say a bill has put them in debt, and half of respondents reported not being able to spend more than $200 if needed on deductibles or co-payments. One in ten respondents live more than 50 miles away from a hospital; on average, a hospital is almost 20 miles away.
Americans embrace technology as part of their healthcare
Incredibly, half of respondents had seen a doctor “virtually” and 62% proactively monitor their health with some kind of technology, with many using devices like Apple Watches, Fitbits and Garmins to help proactively monitor their health.
Recent changes in reproductive health options are worrying many people
One in four respondents worried that recent changes in access to reproductive care (for example, overturning Roe v. Wade) has negatively affected their well-being. Among respondents who identify as female, average travel distance for comprehensive reproductive care is roughly 94 miles.
How is Babylon responding to meet patients' needs?
At Babylon, we offer 24/7 no-cost video appointments and enroll members into the right clinical programs for access to our care services. We provided 5.2 million consultations and AI interactions within the last year, serving a patient every six seconds. We equip Care Assistants, Coordinators, and local Community Health Workers (CHWs) with AI and data-driven insights on specific patients’ risks and circumstances to help members avoid hospitalization and, for those admitted, to ensure optimal care after discharge.
Our impact is scalable and global. Our services are available in 15 countries and in 16 languages. In the UK, we cover 2.2 million lives through our partnership with BUPA. In Rwanda, our digital services delivered about 1 million consults last year. In the U.S., our value based book of business now counts over 270K lives and is growing 3.2x year-over-year.
We have also integrated behavioral health services with physical healthcare across all our populations, providing easy to access mental health appointments within less than five days of outreach, and have already seen more than a 50% reduction in depression and anxiety burdens as measured by industry standard rating scales, which is a leading indicator for an overall reduction in claims spending across both medical and behavioral health costs.
At Babylon, we remain convinced that the existing unscalable, clinic/hospital centric, reactive model of sick care will not be able to provide a credible long term solution to the current challenges. We therefore remain focused on building a data centric, predictive, pro-active and integrated digital-first primary care platform that can manage population health at scale.
We recently announced a new program with Fitbit to provide the devices to eligible, high-risk members managing diabetes who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them. By distributing these devices, we're giving patients access to tools that will provide an engaging and enjoyable way to better engage in their own health. Care advisors within the chronic condition management program assist members with ordering testing supplies and labs, provide education, and answer questions. The data provided by the Fitbit allows the care teams to create a truly holistic view of a member’s health and to develop personalized care plans for each individual. By leveraging the efficiencies of technology, providers can work at the top of their licenses – saving time and reducing costs.
Within Babylon’s MyHealth app, members can collect and access data about sleep patterns, blood pressure, BMI, blood sugar and activity level. By assembling these data sources together, Babylon can create a truly holistic view of a member’s health that is easily accessible by multiple platforms. These insights are then used by care teams to develop personalized care plans for each individual.
Want to learn more about Babylon’s solutions? Get in touch to join us in redefining healthcare.
Babylon offers high-quality, 24/7 comprehensive health care. Let us help:
Find out if your insurance plan provides no-cost access to Babylon’s doctors and therapists
Learn more about our services
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never delay seeking or disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read here.