Babylon, a technology company aimed at putting digital-first care into the hands of every person on Earth, had made an investment in consumer health engagement company Higi. Higi – through its 10,000-plus FDA-cleared self-service Smart Health Stations – provides access points that can help people learn about health conditions, assess their risks, and receive personalised recommendations for local care resources and services. Conveniently located within 5 miles of 73 per cent of the US population and free to use, the Higi Smart Health Station experience is complemented by a suite of digital programming focused on awareness, prevention, and condition management. Higi stations are located at trusted grocery, drug store, mass merchant and community centres throughout North America. They have been used by 62 million people to date, often providing one of the only accessible, nearby healthcare resources available to communities.
By offering a bundled care solution that combines Babylon’s symptom checking and remote digital health tools with Higi’s consumer reach and assessment capabilities, the companies will together be able to offer a more end-to-end solution to meet the needs of payers, providers and retailers on the front lines of care delivery.
Dr Ali Parsa, CEO & Founder, Babylon, says: “We love Higi’s mission of making the steps toward health more accessible, affordable and convenient for all, and we are proud to back their brilliant management team to deliver on this mission by meeting people inside the communities where they live. Higi’s Smart Health Stations are already located in thousands of towns across North America, and by integrating Babylon’s digital first healthcare services into Higi’s station experience, we can make the healthcare services that people need that much more accessible and affordable across North America.”
“Whether it be for chronic conditions, which already place a heavy burden on patients and the healthcare system, to the everyday support of a person’s health and wellbeing, Babylon and Higi’s offerings place greater emphasis on prevention and tackling issues earlier, helping millions of people proactively tend to their health and connect them to the information and medical support they need.”
Jeff Bennett, CEO, Higi, says: “With Babylon as one of our investors and strategic partners, we are beautifully positioned to drive real change in the delivery of primary care across the US.
“Our commitment is to provide consumers, anywhere they might be in, with smart medical tools like unique diagnostics to support their health and wellbeing. Our partnership with Babylon broadens our clinical capabilities and ability to support consumers with acute medical problems or those with chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, thereby allowing us to better meet the needs of payors, retailers and health systems. The US healthcare system has many virtues, but it is simply too expensive and hard for consumers to access care. Together, we will get patients to the right care, faster and far less expensively.”
Babylon’s lead investment in Higi’s Series B is supported by additional funding from Higi’s Series A investors 7Wire Ventures, Flare Capital Partners, Jumpstart Capital, Rush University Medical Center for Health and William Wrigley Jr.
With a 50-state network, Babylon aims to reach everyone, everywhere with digital care services to help people lead healthy lives – from educational health content and symptom checking tools, to options to book video appointments with providers. Babylon is already providing access to healthcare services through its app to members of certain health plans in Missouri, New York and California.
The urgency for digital-first, end-to-end healthcare – from accurate information about a health issue to actual diagnosis and remote care – is greater than ever before. Together, Babylon and Higi will be able to provide higher value services and will continue to develop innovative ways to fill this critical gap in public health.