We've all heard of Babylon Health, the disruptive digital health start-up which provides its patients with a symptom triage tool and online video consultations with GPs. Babylon has grown rapidly since it was founded in Hammersmith & Fulham in 2013.
After expanding beyond London to other areas of the UK in 2019 and launching in the US in 2020, Babylon is now going public in the US via a $4.2 billion merger with special purpose acquisition company Alkuri Global Acquisition, and with a substantial investment from software company Palantir.
Meanwhile, eConsult Health, which provides the eConsult platform used by over 3,000 GP practices and the eTriage platform used by several hospitals, has purchased Q Doctor, which provides an online GP video and messaging consultation platform to over 500 GP practices and a number of hospitals. By bringing their services together into one platform, they will create greater consistency and ease of use across different healthcare providers, making it easier for patients to access healthcare services.
Unlike Babylon, which challenges the traditional GP practice model, eConsult Health and Q Doctor empower GP practices and hospitals to make best use of triage and remote consultation technologies which have been crucial during the pandemic, with Q Doctor being an NHS Digital and NHS England approved eConsultation supplier for the COVID-19 response.
With the threat of hospitals and GPs being overwhelmed during the pandemic, and the need for patients and doctors to communicate remotely to avoid spreading infection, online triage and video consultation technology have enabled patients to access healthcare services in a way that is effective and safe for everyone involved. This is another example of the UK's , by compelling patients and practices to embrace these technologies much sooner than they otherwise might have done.
If you have an exciting healthcare app, or if you're a GP practice looking to integrate these technologies, we'd love to help.