Healthcare for all

By Gabi James

18 Sep 18

This may sound like a subsection of a utopian dream, or a misleading soundbite from a political manifesto or a patriotic demand to protect our national health service. Actually, it’s the very real aim of a very real organisation named Babylon.

This may sound like a subsection of a utopian dream, or a misleading soundbite from a political manifesto or a patriotic demand to protect our national health service. Actually, it’s the very real aim of a very real organisation named Babylon.

Technology is a force for good

At the Wonderful Organisation we are definitely firm believers in the potential technology holds to amplify good deeds and their impact on the world. For one, online fundraising platforms like Wonderful mean that the stories of hardworking fundraisers gain global reach, rather than the pool of resources which they can tap being limited to friends, family and neighbours. That means tonnes more money can be raised!

There are lots of more complex innovations happening all over the world in the name of good, too. From virtual reality helping people understand the struggles faced by communities across the world in old shipping containers or with virtual reality headsets given to passersby on the streets, something also achieved through an interactive video game, to the Oxfam app aiming to improve transparency regarding how money is spent , technology has been helping mankind become better in all kinds of creative ways. Keeping it more simplistic, contactless payments are being deployed in many different areas to facilitate fundraising and causes are using free conference calling to ensure cohesion and collaboration in their endeavours.

Technology and medicine

And while there is no good cause unworthy of as much help and funding as possible, there are few so universally crucial as healthcare. This is another area where we have seen the impressive power of teleconferencing to change the world for the better, as it has expanded the reach of medical professionals.

One group which has pledged itself to finally realise true universal healthcare with the aid of modern technological developments is Babylon. Their self-proclaimed mission is ‘to put an accessible and affordable health service in the hands of every person on earth.’

Babylon health

We all know this sounds like a staggeringly ambitious goal. But Babylon was set up by extremely savvy experts who know that the considerable and constantly increasing power of technology can amplify the help which can be offered by humans equipped with expertise and understanding. In this way, all people should be able to receive prompt and personalised healthcare, something which would undeniably save thousands of lives.

To do this, a team of doctors and scientists created an advanced artificial intelligence system which harnesses the latest advances in deep-learning to allow people to understand their symptoms. After users input their experiences and details, the system is able to assess the risk factors and symptoms to provide medical information and direct people to the most appropriate service.

Beyond this, Babylon allows people to connect with a real-life medical professional, in instants. Very hour of the day and every day of the week, professionals are available to discuss any concerns or questions you might have. You can choose to interact with them via audio, or add in video chat too. Babylon also lets you add in photos and notes to give your doctor as much information as possible.

If it’s determined that you need any medication to treat your symptoms, Babylon covers this, too. Your doctor can send your prescription electronically to a pharmacy of your choosing, or even organise to have your medicine delivered to your door. Generally, patients can expect to have access to their medication within an hour of their appointment.

An especially wonderful feature of Babylon is the ability to replay your appointment. By downloading the app, you’ll be able to review your medical notes and clinical records, and play recordings of your previous appointments to remind yourself of the advice your doctor has given. And don’t worry - all of this information is encrypted and stored securely to guarantee this sensitive data is totally safe.

Currently, Babylon is operating in the UK and in Rwanda, but has plans in place to expand globally until it can truly reach people across the world. Already, it has recruited experts from more than 60 countries, combining the sharpest minds in science, medicine, maths and engineering to tailor-make its AI systems and interactive tools.

This is truly an organisation which demonstrates the power of technology to help make the world a more wonderful place, literally saving lives and granting access to healthcare to people in remote or underprivileged areas.

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The Co-operative Bank are proud to be the main sponsorship partner of the Wonderful Organisation supporting charities to make a difference by ensuring 100% of donations go directly to doing good. Learn more about the Bank’s values and ethics.

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