Babylon Health: The Game-Changing Healthcare Concept
The healthcare industry is one of the most significant accomplishments of humankind. Promoting both physical and mental wellbeing, it takes an enormous part of people’s everyday life.
Ali Parsadoust is an extraordinary example of someone who has been through hell and beyond to fulfill his childhood dreams. A man who truly sacrificed himself to succeed in what he thought was best for him to have a better personal and professional lifestyle and career in the future.
Today’s prestigious engineer and successful healthcare entrepreneur, Ali once was a refugee from Iran, fighting for his life and looking for a way out from the war.
Believing that healthcare is the key to humanity’s mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, Ali designed a mobile application named Babylon Health, which provides patients with faster appointments, online checkups and allows better on-time diagnoses. The platform is providing better solutions for avoiding a total collapse in the health system.
Dive deep into the story of this Iranian-British mastermind’s journey that made an undeniable impact on the medical industry!
The Former Iranian Refugee
It is a fact that anyone who leaves their homeland friends and family for a foreign country does it for reasons familiar to all of us. Looking for a better perspective, improvement, and pursuit of happiness are just to name a few. These are the reasons that drove Ali when he began his adventure many years ago.
Ali was born in 1965 in Rasht, a traditional town in Iran. He came from a middle-class family, and his parents were intelligent people who wanted nothing but the best for their son.
Ali inherited his parent's intellect. They wanted him to proceed with his elementary education in good schools. But as a young teenager, Ali got involved in the wrong political groups, and many troubled people were often chasing him and his friends.
Iran was not a place to live fearlessly and safely in that period, especially for young kids who were targeted to be sent into the minefields of the Iran-Iraq war. One teacher from his hometown warned Ali to leave the city while he's still young to search for luck someplace outside Iran before he was sent to war.
After their family talk, Ali’s parents agreed that it is the best option for their son to migrate to another country and find his way out of Rasht to proceed with his hunger for education.
In the late 70s and early 80s, considering the threats, Ali could not leave Iran peacefully. In other words, he had to escape from his own country to avoid going to war or prison.
Hard Times Bring Out The Best In People
It was not easy for a 15-year-old teenager to decide which way was the right way, but time was not his friend then, so he needed to migrate from his homeland as soon as possible. His plan was to escape through the cross-boarder of Ayatollah Khomeini’s overland. Ali crossed over to Teheran and from there to the border of Afghanistan.
Not everything was moving so smoothly as Ali would have wanted to. There was no official border between the two countries back then, just an imaginary one. Ali thought it would not be that hard to transport himself on the other side of the road and to a different country, but he was wrong.
As soon as Ali reached the borderline, ready to transit, a guard approached and stopped him. The guard already knew what the intention of the young boy was.
Ali tried to pretend that he was Afghani, talking to him, pleasing the guard to let him go. If the guard decided that Ali was going to custody - he could have killed him for trying to escape his country.
The 15-year-old teenager was freaked out, knowing that his life could end then and there! Suddenly, one call changed the course of the event. Some kid from the Afghanistan part approached the guard telling him that he was named to take an important phone call.
The guard had no choice but to assign the Afghani kid to look over Ali, while he had the call. In the very first moment when the young Afghani boy was sure that the guard was no longer able to see or hear them, he pronounced the word run to Ali! The Afghani boy saved Ali’s life!
Turning a New Leaf
After avoiding a catastrophic outcome at the Afghanistan border, Ali continued his way through Pakistan, Germany, and England as the final destination.
When he first touched the England ground, he set goals and promised himself that he would accomplish them. He was aware of what his fate could be if he didn't escape his country on time. Ali was downhearted that he left his family and friends back in Iran, but he set out to do everything to justify his choice.
He knew that now, learning English, reading books to reach O and A level, finishing school, and becoming a successful man was the future he wanted for himself. He earned a BSc in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1987, and in 1995 he got a Ph.D. in Engineering Physics, both at the University College of London.
Ali’s first jobs and holdings that made his breakthrough on the entrepreneurship stage were related to finances. Ali was an executive director of the banking team in companies like Credit Suisse First Boston, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Goldman Sachs.
He accomplished his goals and even reached further!
During his work at Circle Health, a private health center company that he co-founded, and after receiving care in a hospital during knee surgery - he asked himself whether that was everything the health centers can offer to patients. This was his eureka moment, and he got an idea that changed his life completely. That idea was called Babylon Health.
The Future of Healthcare
Following the enthusiastic approach to medicine and the desire to create something helpful and meaningful, Ali woke up the entrepreneur within himself. His invention was to develop a platform that would combine technology, knowledge, experience, and artificial intelligence.
All those criteria are the definition of what Babylon Health is and what it offers. Babylon Health was officially launched in 2013! The company's mission is to provide accessible appointments, consultations, exams, and health services directly into the patients' hands through an easy-to-use mobile app.
The patient can talk to their GPs over video meetings at any time of the day or night. Babylon is creating cohesion between the best human expertise and futuristic designs. The app technology could contribute to the re-engineering of services in the health sector.
Babylon uses artificial intelligence systems to find solutions for already familiar diseases or to prevent new ones. Additionally, the app can discover any illness in its early stages so doctors could find adjustable treatments with high-quality results.
The platform’s super-innovative real-time data storage allows personnel and doctors to view and keep their patient history of diagnoses better and more efficiently.
Headquartered in London, Babylon Health’s platform has over 5000 employees of doctors, scientists, mathematicians, engineers working hard every day to expand their knowledge and share it with anyone who needs help. Over the years, the company has raised a total funding amount of $631.1 million in over 4 rounds.
Ali’s holding is funded by 5 investors, the most recent ones are VNV, Munich RE\ERGO Corporate Venture Fund, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and Kinnevik AB are the leading investors. Since he migrated from Iran to the UK, Ali has achieved a better personal and professional life because of his effort and persistence.
He was brave enough to risk everything and chase his dreams in the world outside the war! After so many years of dedication, today, Ali is based in London with his wife and two kids as a successful engineer and entrepreneur. He has been nominated and awarded many times and is still working on more improvements for Babylon Health! Simply said, the Iranian-British genius is living his childhood dream!