UK-based eHealth startup, Babylon Health, has built an artificial intelligent (AI) ‘robo doctor’ to enable smartphone users to consult a doctor using an mHealth tool.

Babylon launched the robo doctor in February 2015 and recently raised $25 million in funding to further develop the AI system that helps users navigate their symptoms and monitor medication adherence.

The funding was led by Kinnevik and also included Hoxton Ventures and the founders of DeepMind, the British AI company acquired by Google.

The robo doctor offers users a network of certified healthcare practitioners seven days a week to answer questions, consult or refer to a specialist.

Currently, the app is being used by 250,000 people and has 150,000 active users. For unlimited access to doctors, users pay a fee of £4.99 a month. One session with a therapist or specialist costs £49.

The app allows users to book a video consultation with a doctor or a therapist, send photos or text messages to get answers to quick questions, track their health, and store basic health information like family health history, medication history and allergy information. Additionally, the users can order tests via the app.

“We can use artificial intelligence to start predicting the future of your health. I genuinely believe Britain has a great chance to be a global leader in digital health,” said Babylon CEO and Founder, Dr Ali Parsa.

According to the Telegraph, who  tested an early version of the robo doctor, the app can respond to questions about standard medical symptoms like headaches or fevers by asking relevant questions such as “did you hit your head?” or “are you feeling dizzy, nauseous?” and “do you have a fever?”, and tell you the best course of action.

Dr Parsa says the company has figured out a simple way to provide users with essential health information without having been to the doctor. For instance, if a user wants to know their cholesterol, they click two buttons on the app and a cholesterol test kit is delivered to their home.  After testing, the kit is then sent back to Babylon, who will deliver the results back to the user via the app.

Several UK-based businesses and payers, including Citigroup, Sky, MasterCard, Bupa and Aviva have partnered with Babylon to offer its services to UK employees.

As part of their expansion plans, Babylon will launch its offering in Rwanda. “The reason we are doing that is if we can solve the problems of healthcare in some of the poorest countries in the world, the learning will be immense,” concluded Dr Parsa.

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