By Emma Trill on 17 July 2018

So you’ve booked your holiday and started counting down the days until you travel. You’ve packed your bag and purchased those little essentials. More than likely, you’re travelling for some time to relax and enjoy yourself at your chosen destination, but you don’t ever imagine falling ill or getting injured on holiday – sadly, these things could happen when you least expect them.

Thankfully, you’ve purchased your travel insurance with Columbus Direct, which provides you with instant and free access to our partner, Babylon Health – the digital health service [1]. We’ve been working with Babylon since summer 2017, and we’re glad to see that so many of our customers are registering to use the product, so it’s on-hand if they need it.

Babylon are there to help

How can Babylon help you on holiday?

Babylon is a free benefit to Columbus Direct customers, who can access an English speaking GP from almost anywhere around the world from a smartphone app.

This is ideal for non-emergency situations, where you would often go to your GP for advice:

  • Perhaps you wake up feeling a bit under the weather one day, and have developed some worrying symptoms that you’d like some information on - power up the app* and use the chat function to describe these. The AI feature will provide information on potential causes and common treatments.
  • You’re worried and the symptoms are getting worse – arrange a video call with an English speaking GP and you’ll be able to speak with them about your symptoms in-depth.
  • You have a pre-existing medical condition and you’ve realised you’re running low on medication – you will be able to access your clinical records and find out what medication you have been prescribed, making it easier to communicate with pharmacies and doctors while you’re abroad.
  • Forgotten what the doctor ordered? Or need to explain what you need to a doctor or pharmacist? You can replay your video chat on the Babylon app as many times as needed.

*Ensure you have a stable Wi-Fi connection to ensure a good service. 

It's good to have Babylon there, should you need them

How do I register?

When you purchase your travel insurance with us, you’ll receive a welcome email which provides you with full details on how to register for the service. You’re able to register all members of your policy, making sure that everyone can access the free perk. The quick and easy process is worth following, even if you’ve been lucky enough to never have fallen ill whilst on holiday – circumstance is unpredictable.

With Columbus Direct, you can call our 24 hour emergency medical assistance number (020 8865 1640) for immediate assistance if you find yourself in an emergency. However, it’s great to know that an English speaking GP is available 24/7 for less serious medical situations, should the event of a holiday illness or ailment arise, all via an app. It certainly gives an extra sense of security, and adds to your peace of mind.

Good to have babylon there if you need them

Giving you a helping hand

With your Columbus Direct travel insurance policy, Babylon are available for non-emergency situations, should you need them. In the months from July 2017 until the end of May 2018, from the medical assistance cases we received from our customers, 35% were declared as medical emergencies, which include inpatient and repatriation cases.

Outpatient cases include single and multiple visits to a GP for example, or someone who should require assistance on their flight. 61% of our assistance cases are great examples of when customers can use Babylon for less serious injuries and illnesses. Not only that, but it acts as a great start to getting more information about potential causes of your illness and potential common treatments, then passing on information to a chemist or doctor whilst you’re on holiday who will be able to help you in person.

Hopefully you won’t need them, but GPs are available, ready and waiting to come to your aid. Travel is changing at a rate of knots, and with apps available such as Babylon, you as a traveller are being thought about more than ever, helping you to prepare for whatever your holiday brings.

Speak to a doctor quickly

[1]The policyholder can use their details to register to Babylon after receiving their Columbus policy number. They will then be eligible for medical advice using the Babylon app. GP consultation service is not available in the USA and Canada. Customers need to download the app on their smartphone or tablet before travelling. 

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