In the year to October 2022, Babylon Health facilitated over a million U.K. telehealth appointments.
As the U.K.-founded digital-first health service provider revealed during a presentation on Thursday (Jan. 12), Babylon’s network of over 870 U.K. virtual healthcare providers delivered 1 million-plus appointments in the space of 12 months, helping the company top $1.05 billion in annual revenue in 2022.
Founded in the U.K. in 2013 as a digital platform enabling remote appointments, Babylon Health now has operations in 15 countries as the firm continues to diversify its business model into healthcare data and white-label integrations with a range of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions localized for different markets.
And while the company has pivoted to focus more on capturing a greater share of the U.S. market in recent years, its initial success in improving patient and provider outcomes in the U.K. provides an important model for its growing U.S. business.
For example, in Thursday’s presentation, delivered during the 41st Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Babylon pointed to some member engagement statistics that found a 60% reduction in the likelihood of its users calling the National Health Service (NHS) non-emergency helpline only 12 months after they joined the platform.
The company also reported that high-risk patients in the U.S. showed a 25% increase in engagement during the first six months of their contract.
Relieving Pressure on Physical Services
With a greater number of patients choosing remote digital consultations as their preferred touchpoint, Babylon is helping to ease the strain on the U.K.’s NHS which the British Medical Association has called “some of the most severe pressures in its 70-year history.”
Although there is no silver bullet that can solve the challenges faced by the country’s public health services, reducing hospital and emergency room (ER) visits by dealing with less urgent issues remotely is one of the ways the NHS is looking to streamline patient care.
In its contribution to the NHS’ telemedicine strategy, Babylon said that within 12 months of registering for its “GP at Hand” service, U.K. patients were 28% less likely to need to visit the ER than previously.
For the company’s less mature U.S. operations, signs also point toward similar cost efficiencies, and in its longest-tenured U.S. contract, Babylon has reported a 30% reduction in inpatient admissions since first launched.
As well as helping to alleviate the pressure on stretched ER workers, digital healthcare solutions can help deliver cost savings for healthcare services. For example, Babylon reported a 35% cost reduction per patient when comparing the GP at Hand service to the North West London average.
Besides Babylon’s remote healthcare solutions, the NHS has also tapped Swedish startup Kry to help build out its increasingly sophisticated telemedicine capacity.
As opposed to the U.S. model, where private health insurance plays a much more central role, more extensive publicly funded national insurance schemes are widespread in Europe, where Kry has expanded its footprint from Sweden to the U.K., Norway, Germany and France.
Now one of the continent’s largest telehealth providers, Kry has forged partnerships with national and regional healthcare providers including various NHS trusts in the U.K., where it operates under the Livi brand.
Watch interview with Kry COO: Is Digital Healthcare Advancing Faster Than EU Lawmakers Can Adapt and Regulate?
Also, unlike Babylon’s primary business model, which relies on building a network of medical professionals in each market it enters and then marketing its services directly to patients, Kry has focused on signing service agreements with public healthcare institutions that then offer their patients remote appointments by integrating Kry’s platform into their own apps and services.
For all PYMNTS EMEA coverage, subscribe to the daily EMEA Newsletter.