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article imageExpanding AI healthcare to the Asian market

By Tim Sandle     Aug 7, 2018 in Health
Babylon Health has signed a $100 million licensing deal with Prudential Asia. This is to provide its artificial intelligence medical chat bot service to its health insurance customers. Similar deals are being undertaken by other insurance companies.
The new arrangement, according to Forbes, signals Babylon’s further expansion into Asia and its further collaboration with technology companies. Babylon has recently completed deals with Tencent and Samsung.
Babylon Health is best known for providing a virtual-doctor service in the U.K., which is something that has proved controversial with some in the medical establishment, according to The Daily Telegraph. Babylon states that a version of its software can pass the standard exam taken by British family doctors. However, some medics do not agree with this claim.
In terms of working with its customers, Babylon is aiming for its chatbot to become the default choice irrespective of the platform that people are using. The growing healthcare market in Asia provides a significant opportunity for this. This is because the family doctor to patient ratio is very ow in many regions, especially China.
A further reason, the analysis runs, is by offering the chatbot more widely is part of a strategy to try and convert as many non-health insurance customers to Prudential Asia's plan as possible.
Insures are using chatbots in greater numbers. There are several reasons, according to VentureBeat. These include improving the overall customer experience. Here chatbots have become more sophisticated through the use of natural language processing. A second reason is speed. Compared with dialling in and waiting to speak to someone, chatbots are relatively fast. A third reason is that artificial intelligence has advanced, allowing customers to interact with chatbots in more sophisticated ways.
A fourth area is scale. Unlike a human operator, a chatbot can help more than one customer at a time and can provide a service that runs 24/7.
A related area is with mHealth apps which can help insures to reduce payouts, in terms of improving patient outcome and reducing the number of doctor’s visits.
Other insurance companies are also offering apps and chatbot services, such as the Aetna Life Insurance Company, which offers an app via Google Play. A second example is from the French startup Alan. The company has launched its mobile app on iOS and Android. This enables customers to send a bill on arrival to hospital directly to Alan via the app.
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