You've probably heard of Babylon, a private health start up which lets people consult to doctors via video chat, 24 hours a day. The service eliminates the need of visiting a GP (General Practitioner) in person. The new company recently signed a deal with the UK NHS' “GP at Hand”. Further extending its services, Babylon has now partnered up with Samsung Electronics to integrate their services with the Samsung Health app.
According to a report by Financial Times, Samsung phones in the UK will soon come pre-installed with Babylon's AI-powered medical consultation technology. The technology will let you check symptoms, and book appointments with UK doctors. You can also have a consultation with a doctor over video chat, anytime of the day, all through the Samsung Health app. Samsung is reportedly paying Babylon for a license fee to use their technology. The Korean giant will also share some of the profits with the start up.
Babylon's services are similar to those of UK NHS' “GP at Hand”, but extends to the private sector as well. So if you want to see a private specialist, you can do that through your Samsung smartphone, provided you pay, of course. A one year subscription will cost you £50 (US $67). You can choose not to subscribe, and pay only when you consult a private specialist. The price for that is set at £25 (US$33) per appointment.
The downside of using Babylon's services is that you'll have to leave your local doctor, and depend mostly on video-consultations. Doing so might not be helpful for people with complex medical needs. Old-age patients might also prefer the security of a GP who is familiar with who they are and what they need.
This Samsung - Babylon partnership is currently exclusive to the UK only. However, there's no reason why the two companies won't expand it worldwide.