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Cigna worked closely with Buoy Health in the early days of COVID-19 to provide an early intervention screening tool to help customers and members understand their personal risks for COVID-19. The digital tool immediately triages symptoms and recommends next steps for care, while also relieving demand on an over-burdened health care system. Buoy Health’s digital tool is an example of a rapid release to market solution in response to a market need. It is also an example of an impressively fast concept to delivery time of less than 90 days.
2020 COVID-19 Symptom Checker Impact Metrics
In 2020, more than 200,000 customer COVID-19 assessments were completed on Buoy Health’s COVID-19 symptom checker across all Cigna platforms. Through these interviews, the program was able to help users determine whether or not in-person care was required. Across all Cigna platforms, 77 percent of users did not require in-person care, saving nearly $3.7 million dollars. Additionally, the use of this tool and the subsequent data that it generated lessened the strain on the health care system during COVID-19 by allowing customers to seek out alternative care if they did not have COVID-19 symptoms. By steering patients who did not have COVID-19 away from provider visits, Buoy’s COVID-19 Symptom Checker helped to avoid over an estimated 7,500 provider hours1, which allowed health providers to focus on COVID-19 cases.
The COVID-19 Symptom Checker is based off the Buoy Assistant Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform and provides users with their most appropriate “next step in care.” Users are also given additional care navigation solutions (i.e., testing centers) as well as several Cigna-specific solutions (e.g., Cigna Health Information Line and Cigna Provider Directory). The Buoy Health symptom checker feature has an overall 26 percent click-through rate.
17,500 hours is an estimate based on assumed 7.5-minute average visit.