Buoy Health Raises $20 Million And Partners With Health Action Council Partners

By Amit Chowdhry ● Jan 15, 2020
  • Buoy Health, an AI-based all-in-one platform for health, announced recently that it raised $20 million in Series B funding

Buoy Health — an AI-based all-in-one platform for health — announced recently that it raised $20 million in Series B funding. It is believed that the Series B funding round was oversubscribed since the company said it raised $15 million in Series B back in August 2019.

Cigna Ventures, the strategic corporate venture capital partner and a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Cigna Corporation, had invested in the company’s Series B round.

Buoy Health essentially brings a depth of experience in leveraging AI to facilitate real-time, high-quality, and personalized care recommendations based on an individual’s symptoms. And once a self-assessment is received, Buoy Health’s technology provides intelligent care recommendations (virtual, in-person, emergency room visit) through an omnichannel approach tied to the severity of symptoms and follows up as necessary to help close gaps in care.

“Our capabilities, powered by advanced machine learning and granular data, resemble exchanges an individual would have with a clinician,” explained Andrew Le, MD, CEO and Co-Founder at Buoy Health. “Our first-step virtual option greatly aligns with Cigna’s focus on creating peace of mind – improving diagnoses of symptoms from the moment individuals get sick and helping facilitate more informed discussions with their clinicians.”

Buoy Health develops digital tools to help people from the moment they get sick start their care on the right foot. The company was formed at the Harvard Innovation Laboratory in Boston. And Buoy Health’s team of doctors, product designers, and software engineers developed its smart symptom checker called Buoy in direct response to the downward spiral we all faced when we attempt to self-diagnose our symptoms online.

The technology that the company behind Buoy utilizes artificial intelligence – powered by advanced machine learning and proprietary granular data – to resemble exchanges you would have with your doctor in order to provide consumers with real-time accurate analysis of their symptoms and to help them easily and quickly embark on the right path to getting better.

“Cigna is squarely focused on bringing the highest value solutions to our customers, which includes optimizing how they connect to and receive quality care, in a convenient way that meets their lifestyles,” said Tom Richards, Global Lead, Strategy & Business Development at Cigna. “Our deep partnerships with digital health companies like Buoy Health and RecoveryOne accelerate how we deliver on that promise. They, like us, are relentlessly pursuing bold new opportunities to make health care anywhere and everywhere a reality for our customers.”

The other Series B investors include Bill Hambrecht, Humana, F-Prime (venture capital arm of Fidelity Investments), and Optum Ventures. Carl Bradford Byers, partner at F-Prime Capital Partners, pointed out last year that “Buoy is poised to revolutionize the way patients engage in and access the health care system.”

Partnership With Health Action Council

Health Action Council recently entered into a new partnership with Buoy Health to help individuals make more informed decisions about where to get the care best suited for their symptoms. And the partnership draws on AI solutions developed by Buoy Health.

The Health Action Council’s Find the Right Care website now include Buoy’s AI-powered chatbot Buoy Assistant, which gives users a personalized and more accurate view of symptoms and then recommends the appropriate location for care like as an urgent care center, a convenient care clinic, or a primary care provider. Plus this service will be free to the public.

“People have more places to receive care than ever before, but without fully understanding the options and how those options meet their needs, they often opt for the emergency room, which is costly and time-consuming,” stated Patty Starr, President and CEO of Health Action Council. “Every time we get sick, we must weigh many factors in our care decisions, and this new technology will make it easier for us to make better decisions given our symptoms.”

“When you’re sick, becoming a doctor and an insurance expert in real-time is extremely daunting, and navigating to the right in-network provider or the right telemedicine vendor when you’re feeling overwhelmed and confused isn’t ideal for anyone,” Dr. Le commented.