Our products have been localised for eleven countries across South East Asia, and are currently available in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Taiwan and Laos and will shortly be available in Cambodia and Myanmar. For each market, we take the time to understand the healthcare needs of the local population and employ teams of highly experienced local doctors to guide the localisation process.
In every country we work in, we carefully adapt our product to account for differences in population health data (epidemiology), language, country specific care pathways and local culture. Our local doctors ensure that we follow national medical guidelines and standards, and these are reflected in our products for every country. Local doctors carry extensive clinical safety testing before we launch our products, and continue to monitor and improve our products on a continuous basis after launch to ensure we offer a high quality, safe service to our users at all times.
Our products undergo a localisation process
- Disease burden varies from region to region. Health indicators such as risk factor prevalence and disease incidence are known to be dependent on sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle and healthcare access. There are significant differences in these health indicators between countries. We update the incidence and prevalence of diseases and conditions, translate our questions and medical concepts into the local languages, and generate a new model of how healthcare works in that particular part of the world to make it relevant and appropriate to that region.
- Additionally, localisation involves the adaptation of languages, actions and guidelines for the user in order to maintain our products’ suitability in each local market. In Asia Pacific, we have translated our products into 13 local languages, which includes English, Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia, Traditional Chinese (HK), Filipino, Simplified Chinese, Tamil, Thai, Vietnamese, Traditional Chinese (Taiwan), Khmer/Cambodian, Lao and Burmese.
What does Babylon’s localisation strategy entail?
The localisation of our products to a new region is a complex task which requires a multidisciplinary approach from epidemiologists, clinicians (global and local), data scientists and engineers. The localisation strategy entails the utilisation of data on local population on health indicators such as disease incidence and risk factor prevalence. Our in-house epidemiology, clinical, data science and engineering teams ensure that the model is suitable and safe for the region in question. The model is further validated by local clinicians to add an additional level of accuracy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question 1: Why is the localisation process necessary?
Disease burden varies from region to region. Health indicators such as risk factor prevalence (e.g. obesity) and disease incidence (e.g type 2 diabetes) are known to be dependent on sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle and healthcare access. There are significant differences in these health indicators between countries. Therefore, it is fundamental to ensure the use of local data to inform the disease risk calculation to provide accurate disease risk predictions for our users. Additionally, localisation involves the adaptation of language, actions and guidelines for the user in order to maintain our products’ suitability in each local market. In Asia Pacific, we are working to produce 13 different languages across the eleven countries.
Question 2: How does Babylon localise their AI-enabled solution in each country and how reliable are they?
Our AI localisation methodology involves epidemiological localisation, linguistic localisation, clinical pathways and triage advice, cultural adaptation, user experience research, testing and design. The service has also been customised for each country, including specific diseases that are prevalent in Asia.. We hire experienced local physicians registered with the local medical council who are central to the localisation and testing process. Our products are continuously monitored to ensure it is compliant with the relevant safety standards and regulatory requirements.
Question 3: Are there any examples of Symptom Checker being localised successfully?
In partnership with Prudential, Babylon has successfully localised and launched the Symptom Checker in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand within the Pulse by Prudential app. The app will be launched in Taiwan, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar shortly. To ensure that our services remain relevant, safe and appropriate for use, clinical validation work is carried out by a team of certified local doctors. This includes developing a new epidemiological model adding in local symptoms and relevant local diseases (e.g. Chikungunya, Dengue Fever), adjusting triage advice to local health infrastructure, translating into local languages and incorporating local culture. The localisation process we undertake also includes the adherence to local medical guidelines that the services will be used in.
Question 4: Are there any examples of Healthcheck being localised successfully?
Healthcheck has been successfully localised in a number of different markets spanning multiple languages and cultures. These include markets such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand. Certified local doctors work alongside our epidemiological team to adapt the epidemiological model to factor in disease incidence and risk factor prevalence, incorporating local habits, ensuring the language is accessible, adjusting for taboos and ensuring that any sensitive topics are handled appropriately.
Question 5: Accurate translation is of key importance. How does Babylon prevent ‘lost in translation’ from happening?
All translations undergo multilateral reviews by both professional translators and local doctors to ensure semantic accuracy and not mere literal translations. Translation is not a one-off process. There is continuous fine-tuning based on both external and internal feedback.
Question 6: How does Babylon keep up-to-date with changes in epidemiology in all Asia Pacific countries?
Our epidemiologists carry out regular surveillance of publicly available epidemiological data and update the AI brain at regular intervals. Our local doctors also ensure the latest country data is regularly reviewed and reflected in our products.