We’re always here to hear you out
People tend to ask us...
Buoy Assistant is a free web-based health assistant that helps people understand symptoms and figure out next steps for care. You can use Buoy to get answers for yourself or answers on behalf of another person. The interview experience is designed to be like that of chatting with a real doctor, and uses artificial intelligence to provide recommendations for any individual situation.
At the beginning of your Buoy Assistant interview, after you’ve added some demographic details about yourself, you’ll be asked to enter your symptoms.
Click or tap on the search box and start typing in the symptom that is bothering you most.
Once you type in that symptom, Buoy Assistant will suggest related terms from the Buoy database. (This is to help get more clarity around how you’re feeling.)
Select the symptom in the dropdown that feels closest to the symptom you have in mind. Buoy Assistant will then ask about the specifics of your symptom.
Once you select a symptom, you may be asked for details about that symptom. (If there are additional symptoms you’d like to select, you can do so after this step.)
If you have another symptom, repeat the same process. If not, click or tap "I'm done adding symptoms".
After you’ve finished adding up to three of your most bothersome symptoms, Buoy Assistant will ask follow-up questions to get a better idea of what you’re feeling. Once enough information has been gathered, Buoy Assistant will then present you with personalized results and care recommendations.
Search Tips & Troubleshooting
Consider your search terms
If you don't see the symptom you’re looking for on your first try, or if Buoy Assistant isn’t suggesting symptoms that match your search, try phrasing the symptom differently. It also helps to use more general terms. For example, If you can't find "dry hacking cough at night," try "dry cough," or even just "cough." Buoy Assistant usually covers more specific details during the interview anyway, so the symptom will be narrowed down regardless.
Search one symptom at a time
Currently, Buoy Assistant is unable to search multiple symptoms at once. (That functionality is in the works.) In the meantime, you can add your symptoms one by one: After you add your first symptom, you'll have the opportunity to input another symptom and so on.
Check your spelling
Spelling medical terms correctly can be tough. If you're having trouble finding a match for your symptom, double-check how you spelled it. Typos are normal, too.
Avoid explaining your symptoms
The Search Box works best when you enter keywords (e.g. "cough") rather than sentences (e.g. "I have a cough").
Search for symptoms, not illnesses
The Search Box works best when you input symptoms (e.g. "headache") as opposed to illnesses (e.g. "migraine”). If you’re curious about a specific illness, try searching symptoms of that illness – for example, "shortness of breath" or "wheezing" to learn more about asthma.
Buoy’s artificial intelligence (AI) relies on an algorithm that’s informed by medical models built and governed by our in-house team of doctors and clinicians. The epidemiological data points that inform these models come from thousands of carefully reviewed clinical papers, and our medical team continues to rely on evidence-based literature and guidelines from trusted academic journals to expand Buoy’s scope of understanding.
As millions of users search their symptoms on Buoy on a regular basis, the AI learns from the information exchanged during these interactions and is able to build a better understanding of how to respond in the future.
When you’re signed into Buoy and interacting with the AI, it’s able to better understand your own healthcare journey and therefore provide a more personalized experience. While the Buoy AI is still in the process of learning about health benefits and insurance, the ultimate goal is to help you find the best care options within your network.
To be sure you’re receiving the most accurate guidance possible, our medical team regularly reviews and updates Buoy’s medical models to reflect published advances in clinical medicine as well as Buoy user data and feedback.
Buoy doesn’t cost any money to use. Creating an account is totally free of charge.