medical app platform

The Medical App



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This young woman, let’s call her “Ellie”, isn’t feeling well. But she doesn’t go to the doctor’s office; he comes to her, via an app called Babylon Health.

Ellie, Patient: “Hello.”
Dr. Mobasher Butt, Babylon Platform: “Hello there. This is Dr. Butt from Babylon Platform. Thanks very much for choosing us for your consultation today. How can I help?”
Ellie, Patient: “The last few days . . .”

Ellie explains that her eyes itch. Mobashir Butt is a general physician. And at Babylon Health, he also chooses the doctors who provide the services digital consultations.

Mobasher Butt, Babylon Medical Director: “Our service is an on-demand service, so as soon as a patient books an appointment, the next available doctor is allocated to that patient.

So the patient cannot necessarily select a named doctor, but they are able to see the names and details of all of our doctors on our website.”

A long-distance diagnosis, by the next available doctor? Users of the popular app don’t seem to view that as a drawback. Although it’s only been on the market a few months, the London-based firm already has around one-hundred thousand (100,000) customers.

Behind the scenes at the app developer, the atmosphere is relaxed. The team is made up of experts from around twenty different countries. It was put together by founder and CEO Ali Parsa.

Parsa’s vision has a lot in common with a lot of other digital startups.

Ali Parsa, Babylon Founder and CEO: “There is so much we could do to make health care not just simpler and more accessible, but better. And that’s our aim. Our aim is to do with healthcare what Google did with information, to make it available to everyone, everywhere.”

Patients can also receive written consultations. And the app can track some bodily functions. Consultations are erased from a patient’s phone and the doctor’s computer after every session.

Babylon employees IT experts make sure the system is secure.

Ali Parsa, Babylon Founder and CEO: “And the reason we have to go through all these steps is medical data is incredibly precious. A lot of people are trying to access it illegally. Our patients have a right to make sure that their data is secure and safe.

So we go through a lot of effort and time to make sure that we’re protecting the data at all times.

Dr. Mobasher Butt, Babylon Platform: “Just to summarize Ellie, I do think it’s hay-fever, rather than an eye infection. I’ll prescribe three things . . .”

It’s nothing serious, otherwise Ellie would have been advised to see a doctor for a physical exam.

The developers believe their approach to medicine has a bright future.

Ali Parsa, Babylon Founder and CEO: “I think the potential for digital healthcare to benefit patients globally is huge. It has huge potential to be able to help patients where resources are scarce and where doctors are scarce.

Dr. Butt sends Ellie a digital prescription, and she can pick up the medication at any pharmacy.

Dr. Mobasher Butt, Babylon Platform: “Was there any other questions that you have at all?
Ellie, Patient: “No, that was all.”
Dr. Mobasher Butt, Babylon Platform: “Great. Okay. Well thank you very much indeed for using Babylon. Bye.
Ellie, Patient: “Bye.”


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1. Ellie made an appointment and visited her doctor, in person. True or false?

2. Does Ellie select her personal doctor? What is “long-distance diagnosis”?

3. Only one person, Ali Parsa, started and developed the medical app. Is this right or wrong?

4. How does the platform function? What does Parsa compare his platform with?

5. Does the Babylon Platform record, keep and share every patient’s medical and personal data?

6. Ellie really does have an eye infection. Is this correct or incorrect? What did the doctor advise her to do?

7. Is Parsa optimistic, pessimistic, both or neither about the future?


A. My doctor has used AI or Big Data to diagnose and treat me. Yes or no?

B. What happens when you visit a doctor? Describe what happens.

C. What are the benefits of AI in medicine?

D. Are there any disadvantages, drawbacks or cons of Big Data in medicine?

E. What may happen in the future?

F. Should the government do anything regarding AI and Big Data in medicine?

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