Buoy, a relatively new health-related startup, recently raised $6.7 million in capital. F-Prime Capital, FundRx, and other angel investors have chipped in their money to help Buoy scale their operations.
The company officially launched their service in March of this year. The company wants to be the go-to site for an online symptom checker. It's not an easy task as they have to take WebMD head on, which is already a highly entrenched website in the symptom-checking world. Of course, you can't really topple down giants without having a silver bullet.
Buoy is confident that they have what it takes to blow out the competitors out of the market. The startup incorporates an algorithm that they believe can help to provide a more accurate diagnosis.
The first thing that makes Buoy different is that it engages the users instead of just providing them an article, images, and links. Buoy's system is more like iPhone's Siri, but for a more specific purpose of symptom diagnosis.
According to the company, Buoy analyzes thousands of real world information and medical literature so it can provide a dynamic diagnosis. On top of that, Buoy's system is designed in a way that the users will feel as if they are talking to a doctor.
The user starts by inputting the symptoms. Buoy will then consider thousands of illnesses that may be linked to the symptoms. Then, Buoy will ask questions to help it reduce the possibilities. As a result, the user can get a more accurate diagnosis compared to other websites or online services.
The company's smart way of tackling an age old problem has already earned them a couple of prizes, like the winner of innovation forum from the U.S. China Health Sumit and Health and Life Sciences Challenge from Harvard University.
MD Andrew Le is the founder of Buoy and a Harvard-trained CEO. According to Le, he conducted a "series of studies" and a "battery of tests" to ensure the accuracy of their algorithm.
Le's ultimate plan is to entice consumers to use their service and also to encourage hospitals to incorporate Buoy in accelerating the patient's processing. According to Le, Buoy has already experienced phenomenal growth since their launch.
Le added: "Since the launch of Buoy, the site has already served more than 250,000 users."
Buoy intends to use the latest funding money to maintain the company's growth. The company is especially focused on adding more marketers, engineers, and clinical researchers. They are also planning to use the money to build integrations with medical service providers and hospitals. FundRX is not only helping Buoy with investment money but they are also supplying the physicians for the company's new medical board.
Carl Byers, F-Prime's executive partner, commented that Buoy has developed a very innovative approach to help people who are looking for an accurate symptom diagnosis before they visit the doctor. Buoy's intelligent way of engaging the patient is something that has never been done before. It's also a system that can be adapted easily with other health care systems. Thus, it's easy to see why the company has such a huge potential.