Babylon launches COVID-19 Care Assistant for the Coronavirus pandemic
20 March 2020
- New COVID-19 Care Assistant is designed to greatly increase the help we can offer our patients during the pandemic
- The end-to-end service delivers appropriate information and care for each individual according to their need, allocating doctors’ time to the patients who need it most
- Patients can use the service to check their symptoms, track their illness, cope with self-isolation, access information, chat with trained staff, and consult doctors
Babylon’s new COVID-19 Care Assistant combines continually-updated information, triage, live chat, symptom tracking, virtual consultation and referrals. This approach means we can greatly increase our ability to simultaneously give help to people with questions or concerns, and for whom treatment involves self-isolation, whilst still giving detailed and thorough care to people who need more intensive attention.
The COVID-19 Care Assistant helps patients with each step:
- Inform - Continually-updated information and videos to help people as they self-isolate, care for others and minimise contamination
- Decide - Symptom checker that provides information on possible next steps to be taken, including around self-isolation
- Connect - Live chat with a trained Babylon team member to discuss COVID-19 concerns and receive information
- Monitor - Daily in-app logging of symptoms, with informational care plans based on the latest guidance
- Consult - Virtual consultations for those who need them
- Refer - Swift referral to hospital care when needed
The world is struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of overwhelming numbers of patients and overstretched health professionals. Recent projections from the UK government predict that 20% of staff are likely to be ill or in self-isolation during the pandemic’s peak. As the virus spreads we need ways to help large groups of people while potentially facing a shortage of clinicians. Our COVID-19 Care Assistant combines what we have learned so far to create a comprehensive approach by which we can help lower-risk patients with their needs, whilst freeing up our clinicians to focus on the people who need it most. This way we can continue to help our patients whether they have COVID-19 or other health conditions.
Dr Ali Parsa, CEO & Founder, Babylon, said:
“COVID-19 is the biggest public health threat to our communities for nearly a century and Babylon has a huge obligation to help. We know how hard governments and healthcare systems are working to battle this pandemic and fully support their tireless work. We were founded to help tackle the challenges of accessibility and affordability of healthcare for every person on earth by using technology to increase the reach and impact of healthcare professionals. The combination of our technology and clinical service allows our doctors and nurses to use their time for the most suited tasks, whilst amplifying their expertise for the benefit of all our patients. We stand ready to help our communities in any way we can and in any manner they need.”
We will be turning on the COVID-19 Care Assistant for all our UK patients in stages over the coming days, and many others soon after. We want to support all the work being done by the government and health providers in all our countries of service and are engaging with them based on their needs to open this service to them. We have already built and deployed a digital-first platform that has supported millions of people. This new version is an evolution in how we can reassure, support and assist, whilst increasing the capacity of healthcare professionals to provide care.
Note to Editors:
The Babylon app is free to download for anyone in the UK. The COVID-19 Care Assistant is free to anyone who uses Babylon services via Babylon GP at Hand, through a UK partnership, or through a private subscription. Anyone else will be able to use certain elements of the COVID-19 Care Assistant service for free, but they need to be registered through one of the above systems to access live chat or consultations.
Our mission is to put an accessible and affordable healthcare service in the hands of every person on earth. We combine technology and medical expertise to bring doctors and people closer together. We give people round-the-clock access to affordable - often free - holistic healthcare services. Like digital health tools and video doctor appointments. We work with governments, health providers and insurers across the globe, and support healthcare facilities from small local practices to hospitals. We want to inspire change. And it’s all in the name of good health.