Babylon Health inks deal with Telus Health to hand off Canadian operations – MobiHealthNews

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UK-based health chatbot Babylon Health is selling off its operations in Canada to former partner Telus Health in a licensing deal projected to be worth roughly $70 million, Business Insider Reports.

The pair previously inked a deal in 2019, to create Babylon by Telus Health, which allowed users to describe their symptoms to a text-based bot, consult with a provider via video and store medical information and notes. At the time of the deal, the app was focused on Canada’s British Columbia region.

MobiHealthNews has reached out to Babylon Health for more information and will update the story accordingly. 

WHY IT MATTERS

While Babylon is quickly expanding its international footprint, this deal signals that the company is also willing to hand off its global efforts to local partners. According to the Business Insider report, Telus will continue to use Babylon’s tech but run the operational end of Babylon Canada.

THE LARGER TREND

Babylon is a very well-funded company. In 2019 the company landed a whopping $550 million in Series C funding from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which brought the company’s valuation to over $2 billion.

The company has been most active in its native U.K. Its GP at Hand service is a collaboration with the NHS that gives patients a virtual front door to care. In June of 2020 the company was in hot water for a data breach that allowed patients to access recording of other patient’s consultations on the app.

However, the company has been expanding its global footprint. In March of 2020 Babylon inked a deal with Rwanda’s government in order to give every person over the age of 12 access to digital health consultations. It has also been looking to North America. In 2020 Babylon launched its triage chatbot in the US. At the beginning of March it announcd an expansion of its Babylon 360 value-based healthcare offering to nearly 50,000 additional Medicare Advantage and Medi-Cal members living in California.

Telus Health is the healthcare arm of Canadian mobile operator Telus. Over the years the company has rolled out a slew of digital tools including a mental health app specifically for frontline workers, and a tool for chronic disease management.

Late last year news reports circulated that Telus had purchased virtual care provider EQ Care to boost its virtual care efforts.

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