London company Babylon raises $60m for AI healthcare platform

25 Apr 2017

Image: TippaPatt/Shutterstock

Continuing its mammoth growth, UK-based company Babylon has raised $60m in its bid to bring AI to health.

Medtech just cannot stop attracting investment, with Babylon the latest in a long line of successful businesses achieving funding targets.

Raising $60m today (25 April), complementing a $25m investment last year, the medtech company is clearly on the up.

Babylon is a digital doctor app that enables GP video calling and AI diagnoses, potentially revolutionising the world of healthcare.

The Rwanda release of Babylon, for example, led to 10pc of the population registering in six months, according to the company.

Babylon recently partnered with the UK NHS to trial an AI-powered chatbot to act as an alternative for a telephone helpline, offering healthcare advice.

The London start-up was founded by Ali Parsa in 2013, and has now assembled a large team of scientists, clinicians, mathematicians and engineers.

“Cutting-edge AI, together with ever-increasing advances in medicine, means that the promise of global good health is nearer than most people realise,” said Parsa.

The company claims the investment is a clear vote of confidence that the UK could position itself as a global leader in medtech and patient care.

“Babylon scientists predict that we will shortly be able to diagnose and foresee personal health issues better than doctors, but this is about machines and medics cooperating, not competing,” said Parsa.

“Doctors do a lot more than diagnosis: artificial intelligence will be a tool that will allow doctors and healthcare professionals to become more accessible and affordable for everyone on earth. It will allow them to focus on the things that humans will be best at for a long time to come.”


Image: Babylon

Earlier this week, Dundalk-based Diaceutics – a company using patient data to provide better approaches to treatment – hit the big time.

The company revealed a deal with US-based BioReference Laboratories that will provide Diaceutics with access to 50,000 patient data samples per day.

Two weeks ago, Johnson & Johnson’s Codman Neuro wing purchased Neuravi, a Galway-based medtech firm that became famous in 2015 when it raised €19m for its stroke therapy device.

Founded in 2009 by CTO David Vale and CEO Eamon Brady, Neuravi has invested extensively in scientific research on the varieties of clots that cause acute ischemic stroke, creating its popular EmboTrap revascularisation device.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic