Buoy Health, Inc.

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Buoy Health, Inc.
Private
IndustryHealthcare
Founded2014; 7 years ago (2014)
Founder
  • Andrew Le
  • Adam Lathram
  • Nathanael Ren
  • Eddie Reyes
HeadquartersBoston, Massachusetts,
United States of America
ServicesWeb-Based Health Symptom Assessment Chatbot
Websitebuoyhealth.com

Buoy Health, Inc., also known as Buoy, is a privately held digital health company founded in 2014[1] and based in Boston, Massachusetts with a second office located in New York City.[2] Buoy developed and offers a web-based, interactive healthcare tool that uses artificial intelligence, natural language processing and machine learning to assess a user’s answers to a series of health and symptom-related questions communicated through a chatbot.[3]

History

  • Buoy was founded in 2014 by Andrew Le, MD and co-founders Adam Lathram, Nathanael Ren, and Eddie Reyes[4] at the Harvard Innovation Lab[5], an institution related to Harvard University that provides business incubation and mentor programs.
  • Jack Connors, a Boston-based entrepreneur and philanthropist[6], invested in Buoy’s seed stage as an angel investor in 2014.[7]
  • On March 8, 2017, Buoy launched its web-based, interactive healthcare symptom checker AI tool as a free-to-use service.[8]
  • In August 2017, Buoy raised $6.7M in Series A funding from venture capital firms Optum Ventures[9], FundRX[10] and F-Prime capital partners and angel investors.[11]
  • In August 2019, Buoy raised $20M in Series B funding. The round was led by venture capitalist Bill Hambrecht and included investments from Humana, Prime Capital, and Optum Ventures.[12]
  • In February 2020, Buoy updated its online AI health tool to assess risk factors for COVID-19 and provide care information and resources based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.[13]

Products

In March 2017, Buoy launched their first product, a web-based, interactive healthcare tool that uses artificial intelligence, natural language processing and machine learning to assess a user’s symptoms.[14] The AI health tool uses a progressive series of health questions communicated through a chatbot to offer possible diagnoses and recommends levels of care based on severity and other risk factors.[15] At the conclusion of the assessment, a search tool is displayed to find healthcare providers based on the results of the screening.

Buoy’s AI health tool algorithm was programmed with clinical data from over 18,000 clinical papers[16] and is regularly updated. Updates are reviewed by Buoy’s medical advisory board.[17]

In December 2019, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study on how patients’ use of the Buoy tool impacted their plans for seeking care.[18] The JAMA study found that the used of a health chatbot decreased uncertainty among patients and that use of Buoy’s AI health tool lowered the level of urgency patients in the study originally associated with their condition.[19]

Buoy has partnered with healthcare networks, such as Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin[20], health insurance companies[21] and employee benefit plans[22] to provide custom configurations of their AI health tool.

Response to COVID-19

In January 2020, Buoy partnered with HealthMap[23] to launch a function of their web-based AI health tool that works to triage users COVID-19 outbreak health concerns.[24]

In February 2020, Buoy released an updated version of its online AI health tool with added queries designed to assess risk factors for COVID-19 and provide care information and resources based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.[25][26]

On March 27, 2020, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced Buoy as the official COVID-19 resource for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.[27][28]

On May 22, 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced the launch of COVIDCheck.[29] Virginia Department of Public Health’s web-based system that allows residents to check health symptoms and advise if they should seek COVID-19 testing.[30] COVIDCheck is the result of a partnership between the Commonwealth of Virginia and Buoy Health. COVIDCheck uses Buoy’s AI health tool as the program's symptom checker.[31]

In the media

           

References

  1. "Startup Buoy Health partners with CVS Health on AI clinic referrals". Modern Healthcare. 2018-05-08. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  2. "Contact Us | Buoy". www.buoyhealth.com. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  3. "Buoy Health's mission to debunk Dr. Internet". Technology and Operations Management. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  4. "Buoy Leadership Team". www.buoyhealth.com. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  5. "Current and Former Harvard Innovation Labs Ventures Develop Projects to Combat COVID-19 | News | The Harvard Crimson". www.thecrimson.com. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  6. "Boston philanthropist Jack Connors, a Democrat, to chair Gov. Baker's campaign". masslive. 2018-09-06. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  7. "Angel Round - Buoy Health". crunchbase.com. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  8. "Digital health startup Buoy launches AI-powered, symptom-checking chatbot". MobiHealthNews. 2017-03-08. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  9. "Buoy Health". Optum Ventures. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  10. "Health startup Buoy raises $6.7 million to invest in recruitment and research". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  11. "With a fresh $6.7M Series A, Buoy Health plans to grow engineering and marketing teams". Built In Boston. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  12. Rosenbaum, Leah. "Bill Hambrecht Leads $15 Million Funding Round For Buoy Health". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  13. "Boston Startup Rolls Out Online Tool To Screen For Coronavirus". www.wbur.org. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  14. "Xconomy: Buoy Snags $6.7M for Chatbot, as A.I. Pushes Further Into Healthcare". Xconomy. 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  15. "The Top 12 Healthcare Chatbots". The Medical Futurist. 2020-01-16. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  16. "Digital health startup Buoy launches AI-powered, symptom-checking chatbot". MobiHealthNews. 2017-03-08. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  17. "Medical Review Team | Buoy". www.buoyhealth.com. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  18. Winn, Aaron N.; Somai, Melek; Fergestrom, Nicole; Crotty, Bradley H. (2019-12-02). "Association of Use of Online Symptom Checkers With Patients' Plans for Seeking Care". JAMA Network Open. 2 (12): e1918561–e1918561. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.18561.
  19. "New study finds health chatbot decreases uncertainty among patients". MobiHealthNews. 2020-01-02. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  20. "Buoy Health Symptom Checker". Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  21. "Humana, Cigna join Aetna in waiving COVID-19 treatment charges". Healthcare Dive. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  22. "Prepare Your Organization for Effective COVID-19 Response | Buoy". www.buoyhealth.com. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  23. "Buoy Health, HealthMap team up to quell coronavirus fears, collect epidemiological data". MobiHealthNews. 2020-02-06. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  24. "Coronavirus: Logan diverting direct flights from China". Boston Herald. 2020-02-04. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  25. "Boston Startup Rolls Out Online Tool To Screen For Coronavirus". www.wbur.org. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  26. "How AI Is Tracking the Coronavirus Outbreak". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  27. "Baker-Polito Administration Announces Travel Guidelines and New Health Care Resources To Support COVID-19 Response". Mass.gov. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  28. Spencer, Erin. "Boston Under The Coronavirus: New Routines, Preparations And Quiet". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  29. newsroom, WHSV. "Va. health department rolls out COVIDCheck, a new online screening tool". www.whsv.com. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  30. "Virginia Department of Health - COVIDCheck". Virginia Department of Health. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  31. "Virginia, Hiring 1,300 Contact Tracers, Is Looking For Bilingual Candidates". WAMU. Retrieved 2020-06-16.

External links

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