Buoy Health, a Boston-based company best known for its AI triage chatbot, is turning to the vaccine distribution space with the rollout of a new tool that helps employers gauge their workforce’s interest in the COVID-19 vaccine and design educational strategies around inoculation.
Employers will be able to tap into the new tool and reporting dashboard via Buoy’s Back With Care and digital navigation tools. The tech was developed to query employees about their interest in getting vaccinated, and whether they have been vaccinated. Additionally, employers can use the tool for communication about the vaccine information, to avoid vaccine hesitancy and misinformation.
Employees can access modules that provide information about the vaccine. The site can help users come up with a plan for getting vaccinated, including where and when. The platform can also provide employees with vaccine dosage reminders.
Buoy is best known for its patient-facing tools, but this move furthers the company’s foothold in the employee wellness space. In June, Buoy launched the Back With Care platform tool, designed to help employers gauge their workforce’s health and ability to return to the workplace.
WHY IT MATTERS
There is still a long way to go for vaccine distribution in the U.S. As of yesterday evening, a total of 55.9 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed, and 33.8 million have been administered, according to the CDC. That breaks down to roughly 27 million people receiving one dose or more, and 6.4 million receiving two doses.
To date the CDC reports that there have been over 26 million coronavirus cases in the United States and 445,264 deaths.
THE LARGER TREND
This isn’t Buoy’s first foray into addressing the coronavirus pandemic. In February, Buoy Health rolled out a new feature for coronavirus that allows patients to triage the symptoms and tap into information about the virus.
Following this, Buoy Health and digital-epidemiology tool HealthMap collaborated on an initiative aimed at sharing information coming into each platform to help assist patients at home, as well as public health officials. The company appears to be looking to expand. In November it announced a $37.5 million Series C round putting its valuation at nearly $200 million.
This isn’t the only tech company looking to propel vaccine distribution using digital tools. In fact, at the end of January Google announced it new efforts to provide the public with vaccine information and a location search. (The tech giant has enabled a new feature that lets users find COVID-19 vaccination locations via search and map.)
Google Cloud also announced that it designed a new tool to help regional and local governments vaccinate their population by supplying them with a central location to share vaccine information, schedule appointments and track distribution.