Buoy Health Raises $37.5M to Expand AI-Powered Healthcare Navigation Platform

Buoy Health Raises $37.5M to Expand AI-Powered Healthcare Navigation Platform

What You Should Know:

– Buoy Health raises $37.5 million in Series C funding to
expand it’s AI-powered healthcare navigation platform, bringing its total raised
to date at $66.5M.

– Buoy will use the proceeds to further build out its IP with respect to artificial intelligence and other technologies, as well as grow the Buoy team.


Buoy Health, a
Boston, MA-based AI-powered
healthcare navigation platform, today announced the completion of a $37.5
million Series C funding round. Cigna Ventures and Humana led the funding round
and were joined by Optum Ventures,
WR Hambrecht + Co, and Trustbridge Partners. To date,
Buoy has raised $66.5 million.

AI-Powered Healthcare Navigation

Today, hospitals and insurance companies are increasingly
investing in digital health innovations like Buoy to solve problems related to
accessing the healthcare system and helping patients to get to the right care
setting on the first attempt.  By
addressing the problem that happens when people attempt to search their
symptoms online,

Founded in 2014 by a team of doctors and computer scientists working at the
Harvard Innovation Laboratory, Buoy Health uses AI technology to provide
personalized clinical support the moment an individual has a health concern. Buoy
navigates people through the healthcare system intelligently, delivering triage
at scale, and connecting them with the right care endpoints at the right time
based on self-reported symptoms.

Expansion Plans

Buoy will use the proceeds to further build out its IP with respect to artificial intelligence and other technologies, as well as grow the Buoy team. The fundraise will advance Buoy’s clinical and insurance-based navigation capabilities to help move the individual to a more consumer-friendly healthcare journey.

Recent Milestones

As of the Series C close, Buoy has helped nearly one million
Americans assess symptoms and locate the best places for them to seek care in
their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. As one of the first digital
health companies in the U.S. to respond to the pandemic, Buoy was an early
leader in connecting individuals to care at the right time, saving more than
29,764 medical professionals’ hours, or 1,240 days.

Buoy also launched Back With Care, an employer platform that
provides health resource navigation, risk assessment and personalized guidance
for the transition back into the workplace for employers and employees across
the country. With numerous tech companies and large healthcare organizations launching
consumer-centric offerings to tackle this issue, Buoy remains committed to
humanizing the healthcare journey and assessing the COVID-19 risk in connection
with getting back to physical offices.

“We are honored by the continued support and commitment in Buoy from many of the industry’s most influential insurers and are proud to be working with a group of investors that truly believe in our mission to make healthcare more personalized and convenient,” said Andrew Le, MD, CEO and co-founder of Buoy Health.

Le continued, “Buoy was founded on the idea that turning to the internet for answers when you are sick can be overwhelming, confusing, and inefficient. I’m proud of the work we’ve done to help more than 9 million individuals make more informed decisions for their health, and the tools we have built to help consumers and employers navigate COVID-19. From the moment an individual has questions about their health, to ensuring they get the support they need as they seek care, Buoy will serve as the sidewalk to every possible front door of care, navigating the individual through their healthcare journey.”

#Healthin2Point00, Episode 161 | Partnerships galore & a new SPAC

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we have some hot gossip re: Glen Tullman starting his own SPAC. On Episode 161, Jess and I discuss Bind Benefits raising $105 million, BridgeHealth merging with Transcarent and raising $40 million in a Series A, and Loyal raising $12.5 million in a Series A. Jess also asks for my take on a slew of new partnerships between Lyra and Calm, Cigna and MDLive, and Doctor on Demand and CareLinx. —Matthew Holt

Amwell and Cigna Ranks High in Telehealth Patient Satisfaction, J.D. Power Finds

What You Should Know:

– Amwell ranks highest among direct to consumer brands
and Cigna ranks highest among health plans for telehealth patient satisfaction,
according to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Telehealth Satisfaction Study

– Though telehealth has been pitched as a solution to
improve access to healthcare for everyone, more than half (52%) of telehealth
users say they encountered at least one barrier that made it difficult to use
telehealth.


Patient satisfaction with telehealth
services has been increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic, but several barriers
to access still exist for many patients, including those most at risk, according
to the J.D.
Power 2020 U.S. Telehealth Satisfaction Study
.

The J.D. Power U.S. Telehealth Satisfaction Study, now in
its second year, measures consumer satisfaction with their telehealth service
experience based on four factors (in order of importance): customer service
(42%); consultation (28%); enrollment (19%); and billing and payment (11%). The
study is based on responses of 4,302 health consumers who used a telehealth
service within the past 12 months. It was fielded in June-July 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a moment of truth for telehealth, and, by most accounts, the technology is rising to the challenge and delivering a high degree of satisfaction among those who use it,” said James Beem, managing director of global healthcare intelligence at J.D. Power. “However, even though the public awareness with Telehealth is higher due to the influence of COVID-19, the barriers for the consumer to engage with the technology has been a consistent theme in our research.”

Key Findings

Key findings of the 2020 study include:

Amwell ranks highest in telehealth satisfaction among direct-to-consumer brands, with a score of 885. Doctor on Demand (879) ranks second.

Cigna ranks highest among payers of health plan-provided telehealth services with a score of 874. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan (867) ranks second and UnitedHealthcare (865) ranks third.

– Great patient experience: The overall customer satisfaction score for telehealth services is 860 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is among the highest of all healthcare, insurance and financial services industry studies conducted by J.D. Power.

– Barriers to access persist: Though telehealth has been pitched as a solution to improve access to healthcare for everyone, more than half (52%) of telehealth users say they encountered at least one barrier that made it difficult to use telehealth. The most common hurdles are limited services (24%); confusing technology requirements (17%); and lack of awareness of cost (15%). Additionally, 35% of telehealth users indicate they experienced a problem during a visit. Tech audio issues (26%) are the most common problem.

– At-risk patients have lower levels of satisfaction: Overall satisfaction is 117 points lower among patients with the lowest self-reported health status than among patients who consider themselves to be in excellent health. Similarly, healthier patients are significantly more likely to understand the information provided during the visit, receive clear explanations, feel their visits are highly personalized and obtain a high-quality diagnosis.

– Safety becomes a top driver of utilization: Among patients who used a telehealth offering this year, 46% say their top reason for choosing telehealth was safety. That compares with just 13% in 2019.

Ginger Lands $50M to Expand On-Demand Mental Health Support Platform

Ginger Lands $50M to Expand On-Demand Mental Health Support Platform

What You Should Know:

– Ginger announces $50 Million in Series D funding to expand
access to its on-demand mental healthcare system led by Advance Venture
Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners; joined by Cigna Ventures and existing
investors.

– Company has more than tripled revenue over the past year, now brings access to on-demand mental healthcare to millions around the world through 200+ employer clients and leading health plans.


Ginger, a San Francisco, CA-based provider of on-demand
mental healthcare, today announced a $50 million Series D funding round led by
Advance Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners. Additional participants
include Cigna Ventures and existing investors such as Jeff Weiner, Executive
Chairman of LinkedIn, and Kaiser Permanente Ventures. This latest round of
investment brings the company’s total funding to over $120 million. 

On-Demand Mental Health Support

Founded in 2011, Ginger’s on-demand mental healthcare system
brings together behavioral health coaches, therapists, and psychiatrists, who
work as a team to deliver personalized care, right through your smartphone. The
Ginger app provides members with access to the support they need within
seconds, 24/7, 365 days a year. Millions of people have access to Ginger
through leading employers, health plans, and its network of partners.

By delivering evidence-based behavioral health coaching,
therapy and psychiatry right from a smartphone, Ginger is the only end-to-end
telemental health provider designed to meet this skyrocketing demand at a
fraction of the cost of traditional care.

Key benefits of Ginger’s on-demand mental health platform
include:

On-demand, anywhere: On average, members in 30
countries around the world can text with a Ginger behavioral health coach
within 44 seconds, 24/7, 365 days per year; first available video appointments
with a therapist or psychiatrist are available on average within 10.5
hours. 

Measurement-based: The company’s proprietary
collaborative care model has been proven to be more than twice as effective as
standard therapeutic interventions; 70 percent of people using Ginger
experience an improvement in their depression symptoms within 10-14
weeks. 

Loved by members: Ginger members give an average
rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars after each session.  


COVID-19 Underscores Record Demand for Mental Health
Support

This announcement comes at a time when the world’s mental
health crisis has reached an all-time high following the onset of the COVID-19
pandemic. According to Ginger’s 2020
Workforce Attitudes Toward Mental Health Report
, nearly 70 percent of U.S.
workers believe this is the most stressful period of their careers, including
major events like the September 11 terror attacks, the 2008 Great Recession and
others. Ginger has observed record-high demand for mental health support;
during July 2020, weekly utilization rates were 125% higher for coaching and
265% higher for therapy and psychiatry when compared to pre-COVID-19 averages.

Recent Traction/Milestones

Millions of people have access to Ginger through the
company’s partnerships with innovative employers, health plans, and strategic
partners. Today, over 200 companies ranging from startups to Fortune 100s,
including Delta Air Lines, Sanofi, Chegg, Domino’s, SurveyMonkey, and Sephora,
partner with Ginger to cost-efficiently provide employees with high-quality
mental healthcare. Ginger members can also access virtual therapy and
psychiatry sessions as an in-network benefit through the company’s
relationships with leading regional and national health plans, including Optum
Behavioral Health, Anthem California, and Aetna Resources for Living.  

The company recently announced the formation of the Ginger Advisory Board, bringing together world-renowned experts from MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the University of Washington to advance mental health research and innovation. 

“Our mental healthcare system has long been inadequate. But in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and a tumultuous sociopolitical climate, we’re facing uncharted territory,” said Russell Glass, CEO, Ginger, “People are demanding better care, and the largest payers of healthcare are recognizing the need to respond. Ginger is uniquely able to reverse the course of this crisis at scale. With this investment, we can accelerate our work to deliver incredible mental healthcare at a fraction of the cost to the hundreds of millions of people around the world who deserve it.”