In response to the evolving novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Health Action Council and Buoy Health have partnered to offer a COVID-19-specific tool for users to assess symptoms and risk factors associated with the virus and direct them to the appropriate care destination.
Buoy’s artificial intelligence solution is based on algorithms that analyze thousands of real-world data points, in order to resemble the dynamic and nuanced experience of chatting with a doctor. A user enters symptoms and answers questions to help Buoy get a holistic view of the case and calculate which illnesses are more likely.
Buoy then shares its reasoning with the user and offers personalized recommendations for self-triaged care.
This service, which is free to the public, guides users through a simplified COVID-19 journey, including questions about commonly associated symptoms, risk of exposure, and risk of severe illness. Based on their answers, users will be navigated through the next steps that include the triage outcomes listed below. Spanish language translation of the COVID-19 triage experience is also available.
- Self-isolation. Symptomatic users who are low-risk for severe illness are guided to self-isolate. Easily digestible clinician-reviewed content about self-isolation is provided.
- Self-isolation with the recommendation for testing. Symptomatic users who are a higher priority for testing based on their risk of exposure or risk of severe illness are directed to call a doctor about testing. Most states require a physician referral for testing due to limited supply. For this reason, it is recommended that users either call their primary care provider (PCP) or get a telemedicine consult.
- Same-day care. Users with symptoms or risk factors that require a timely evaluation are directed to seek virtual same-day care through their PCP or a telemedicine service.
- Emergency room care. Users with serious symptoms such as confusion or severe shortness of breath are directed to visit their local emergency room; or advised to call 911
After the interview, users directed to non-emergent care are able to opt into digital follow-up. Buoy will send these users a follow-up SMS three days later to see what type of care the user sought.
“With the onset of COVID-19 and the quickly evolving healthcare landscape, now, more than ever, people will need to rely on services such as this to find the best option for healthcare,” said Patty Starr, President and CEO of Health Action Council. “This technology makes it easier for people to assess their symptoms and decide the best, most cost-effective path for treatment. Our hope is to help people understand their symptoms and options for care in these unprecedented times.”
To utilize this free service, anyone can visit findtherightcare.org and select symptom checker in the upper right hand corner.
About Health Action Council
Health Action Council is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization representing mid- and large-size employers that enhances human and economic health through thought leadership, innovative services, and collaboration. It provides value to its members by facilitating projects that improve the quality and moderate the cost of healthcare purchased by its members for their employees, dependents, and retirees.
Health Action Council also collaborates with key stakeholders – health plans, physicians, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry – to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the community. For more information, please visit www.healthactioncouncil.org.
About Buoy Health
Buoy is a digital health company that helps individuals navigate their healthcare concerns with personalized clinical support and guidance. Launched out of the Harvard Innovation Labs by a team of doctors and data-scientists, Buoy’s all-on-one AI technology is able to deliver triage at scale and connect individuals with the right care endpoints at the right times.