Digital healthcare firm Babylon health has launched COVID-19 Care Assistant to help people diagnose and manage suspected COVID-19 symptoms.

Babylon Health, who’s digital GP service is currently being piloted in multiple NHS trusts, will now be offering a new end-to-end service to deliver information for people with suspected COVID-19. The app will be allocating doctor’s time to the patients based on need.

Patients can use the service 24/7 to check their symptoms, track their illness, cope with self-isolation, access information, chat with trained staff, and consult doctors.

Babylon’s new COVID-19 Care Assistant can be used 24/7 and combines continually-updated information, triage, live chat, symptom tracking, virtual consultation and referrals.

Key features of the service

  • Continually-updated information and videos to help people as they self-isolate, care for others and minimise contamination
  • Symptom checker that provides information on possible next steps to be taken, including around self-isolation
  • 24/7 live chat with a trained Babylon team member to discuss COVID-19 concerns and receive information 
  • Daily in-app logging of symptoms, with informational care plans based on the latest guidance
  • Virtual consultations for those who need them
  • Swift referral to hospital care when needed

It is hoped that the new service will be able alleviate some of the pressures the NHS is currently under. Recent projections from the UK government predict that 20 per cent of staff are likely to be ill or in self-isolation during the pandemic’s peak.

The service is designed to help large numbers of people while the UK faces a potentially severe shortage of clinicians. The COVID-19 Care Assistant combines learnings so far to create an approach by which lower-risk patients can receive help – while freeing up clinicians to focus on the people who need it most.

Dr Ali Parsa, CEO & Founder, Babylon, said: “COVID-19 is the biggest public health threat to our communities for nearly a century and Babylon has a huge obligation to help. We know how hard governments and healthcare systems are working to battle this pandemic and fully support their tireless work.”

Dr Parsa went on to say that the combination of Babylon technology and clinical service allows our doctors and nurses to use their time for the most suited tasks, whilst amplifying their expertise for the benefit of all our patients. We stand ready to help our communities in any way we can and in any manner they need.”

“We will be turning on the COVID-19 Care Assistant for all our UK patients in stages over the coming days, and many others soon after,” said Dr Parsa.