Ali Parsa

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Ali Parsadoust (commonly known as Ali Parsa, born 24 January 1965 in Rasht, Iran) is a British-Iranian healthcare entrepreneur and former investment banker. He is the founder and CEO of digital healthcare company Babylon Health and the co-founder and former CEO of hospital operator Circle Health.[1][2][3]

Ali Parsa
Born24 January 1965
Rasht, Iran
NationalityBritish, Iranian
OccupationHealthcare entrepreneur
Known forFounder of Babylon Health, Co-founder of Circle Health


Early career[edit]

Parsa was born in Rasht, Gilan Province, Iran to middle-class parents. In 1981, he left Iran in the aftermath of the Iranian revolution.[4] After teaching himself O and A-levels, he attended University College London (UCL) where he studied civil and environmental engineering. After completing his bachelor's degree in 1987, he continued at UCL, earning a PhD in engineering physics in 1995.[4] During his studies Parsa co-founded Victoria & Gilan (V&G), a media promotion company for which he won the Royal Award for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 1993.[5] Parsa sold V&G in 1995 to join Credit Suisse First Boston as an investment banker where he was hired by Stephen Hester, who later served as CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland. At Credit Suisse he led corporate finance. In 1997, he moved to Merrill Lynch where he spent two years in technology and UK investment banking. Between 1999 and 2001, Parsa continued at Goldman Sachs, where he was executive director of the European technology banking team.[5]

Circle Health[edit]

Parsa set up Circle Health in 2004, the first private company to run a UK National Health Service (NHS) hospital. Circle Health became Europe's largest partnership of clinicians, with about £200 million of annualised revenue and about 3,000 employees. Circle Health was taken public successfully in 2012, when Parsa stepped down as Chief Executive Officer.[6][3]

Babylon Health[edit]

Parsa launched Babylon Health, a developer of mobile healthcare apps, in 2014.[3] Headquartered in London, Babylon Health is a subscription health service provider that enables users to have virtual consultations with doctors and health care professionals via text and video messaging through its mobile application.[7] The company became known for its AI-powered health technology, such as a chatbot used by the NHS.[8] In August 2019, Babylon Health raised $550 million at a pre-money valuation of $1.5 billion.[8]

Parsa is an advocate of more private-sector involvement in the NHS, believing it improves efficiency, profitability and quality of healthcare.[9] In 2017 Parsa claimed that Babylon Health was "the beginning of the end for the old-fashioned way we use healthcare" and that within a few years computers would perform better than doctors at making diagnoses.[10]

He was named by The Times among the 100 global people to watch in 2012, and by the Health Service Journal among the 100 most influential people in UK healthcare.[11][5]


  1. ^ "Interview: I can do a better job than the NHS, says Babylon boss Ali Parsa". The Times. 20 May 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  2. ^ "An Iranian refugee-turned-successful British healthcare entrepreneur says Trump's immigration ban is 'inhuman'". Business Insider. 31 January 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "This Health Startup Won Big Government Deals—But Inside, Doctors Flagged Problems". Forbes. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Ali Parsa: the former refugee bringing algorithms to healthcare". Standard. 12 July 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "Ali Parsa". Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Dr. Ali Parsa". Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Babylon app puts a GP in your pocket". Wired. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  8. ^ a b "AI-Health Startup Babylon Health's Epic New Round In Context". CrunchBase. 2 August 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Ali Parsa: Government should not be running hospitals". The Telegraph. 4 Aug 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  10. ^ "The doctor will see you now: NHS starts smartphone consultations". The Times. 6 November 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  11. ^ "The Times 100 to watch in 2012: interactive". The Times. 13 January 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2019.