Apps, Primary Care News

Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Babylon partner to deliver digital-first services

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) has agreed a new five-year deal with Babylon Health to introduce its value-based care service, Babylon 360, to support patients at the trust’s nine GP practices.

The trust partnered with Babylon Health in 2020, introducing its COVID-19 app and providing its AI digital care assistant to help support and monitor coronavirus patients in the community. People could use the app to check their symptoms, track their illness, cope with self-isolation, learn more about COVID-19, have a live chat with trained team members and consult with GPs and clinicians by video.

The latest partnership aims to introduce an ‘integrated and accessible digital-first healthcare experience’ for 55,000 Wolverhampton residents, across nine practices.

Babylon will introduce Babylon 360 to the community covered by the RWT’s Primary Care Network, with an aim to empower people to stay healthy using Babylon’s digital health tools, and be the route of entry into the system when sick.

The trust provides services across New Cross Hospital, West Park Hospital, Cannock Chase Hospital, more than 20 community sites and nine GP practices, with the service to be introduced across the practices initially. During the first phase of the rollout, through the Babylon app, those patients will be able to access their current GP practice and book video appointments with their regular RWT GP. They will also have access to Babylon’s digital health tools, such as its symptom checker.

The company recently published a peer-reviewed paper in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, which found that members of Babylon’s primary care service, Babylon GP at Hand, incurred between 15-35 per cent lower acute hospital costs than the regional average.

Professor David Loughton CBE, Chief Executive, RWT, said: “The partnership with Babylon is an exciting one for us as a trust. The NHS has learned so much about the benefit of using digital platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic and we are excited to continue to develop this, in partnership with Babylon.

“This technology will enhance patient choice and give them greater control over their own health and wellbeing, supporting them to have their GP appointments at a time and location suitable for them.”

Dr. Ali Parsa, CEO, Babylon, added: “We believe it is possible to put an accessible and affordable health service in the hands of every person on Earth. Yet we are a long way away from that. There is a lot that needs to be learnt and this partnership with RWT is another step in allowing us to learn together how we can co-create a better model of care for all. We are honoured to have the opportunity to work with David and his brilliant team in RWT, to deepen our joint services and extend it to a significant proportion of the population of Wolverhampton.”