Babylon and Microsoft to collaborate on AI and cloud projects

Babylon Health, the ‘digital first’ health provider, recently announced that it has formed a new partnership with tech giants Microsoft.

The collaboration will see the two companies combine to find new opportunities in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and cloud technologies.

A release from Babylon stated that its work with Microsoft would be focused on helping to “accelerate the delivery of improved personalised care” and to “reduce the overall cost of care through integrated digital pathways”.

The digital care company also said that it plans to utilise its technologies to  “shift the focus from sick care to preventative health care” and hopes that this new ‘union’ could result in an increase in the impact of Babylon’s “complementary healthcare technologies” and extend its healthcare platform.

Initially, the collaboration will see Babylon’s digital health software solutions and cloud services become available on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, which reaches around four million monthly active users, so that people can use it access the company’s AI-powered Symptom Checker and Healthcheck products. The services have been live on the platform since 12 October 2021.

Next steps are set to include Babylon utilising a selection of Microsoft products and services to support its technology stack. This is expected to encompass its “Compute, Storage and Data Services including Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Azure Cache for Redis, Azure Database for PostgreSQL and Azure Blob Storage”.

Dr Ali Parsa, Chief Executive Officer of Babylon, said of the news: “Babylon and Microsoft working together shows our combined commitment to build on our leading-edge digital health technologies and deliver better access and greater affordability for health systems and patients alike.

“We share the same vision of healthcare and believe that by bringing our assets together we can further the digital health revolution, offer immediate access to all-in-one personalised care and we can enhance the consumer experience, improve patient outcomes and reduce overall costs.”

Paul-Henri Ferrand, Chief Business Officer at Babylon, added: “As we take these first steps on our journey together, I am excited that Babylon Cloud Services will be made available first through the Microsoft Commercial Marketplace, bringing the benefit of our cloud native technology to the Microsoft healthcare community.”

Offering the Microsoft perspective,  Tom McGuinness, CVP of Global Healthcare & Life Sciences, Microsoft, commented: “This collaboration will allow us to build on our existing capabilities so we can proactively support patients through the devices they already own, and shift the focus from reactive to proactive healthcare.”

“We look forward to bringing our collective expertise and technologies to drive innovation in healthcare and capitalise on the current digital health revolution by improving the personalisation, automation and digitisation of the healthcare journey for both clinicians and patients,” he said.

It’s been a month of big news and headline stories for Babylon, as it also secured a £145.5 million sustainability-linked investment from Albacore Capital Group this week.

While, as recently as September, the healthcare company published its financial and operating results for the six months ending 30 June 2021, reporting revenue growth of 472 per cent. This all takes place in the same year that Babylon also revealed it is set to become a publicly traded company, following  a $4.2 billion merger with the special purpose acquisition company, Alkuri Global Acquisition Corp.

Back in June, Dr Ali Parsa said of the news: “We founded Babylon on a fundamental belief, that it is possible to make quality healthcare accessible and affordable for every person on earth by combining the latest in technology and the best in medical expertise. We have achieved one of the highest growth rates every year since our inception, with consistently high clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

“Becoming a public company is just another step in our journey. We are at the very beginning of our work to re-imagine our sector, to make it digital-first and prevention-first and shift the focus away from sick care to true health care.”

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