Buoy Health Launches Behavioral Science-Informed Vaccine Tool, Guiding Employers through the Next Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Buoy's vaccine tool offers employers real-time visibility into their employee's vaccine intent and status while using behavioral science and tailored information to guide employees safely and effectively through the vaccine rollout

February 4, 2021 8:00 AM EST

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BOSTON, Feb. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Buoy Health, the AI-powered healthcare navigation platform, today announced the launch of its behavioral science-informed vaccine tool, guiding employers and employees through the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Buoy's tool can be accessed within its Back With Care and digital care navigation platforms.

Recent data shows less than half of American adults are interested in getting the COVID-19 vaccine, however, more than one million Americans are getting vaccinated every day. This places employers in a sticky situation as the country is slowly but surely trekking towards herd immunity, to find a solution that can help effectively guide their employee populations through the complicated vaccine rollout and safely reopen workplaces.

"During the pandemic, we have witnessed a monumental responsibility shift within the healthcare industry as employers have become de facto public health leaders, with the majority of COVID-19 education, strategy and response efforts falling on the shoulders of HR and benefits teams," said Andrew Le, MD, CEO and co-founder of Buoy Health. "Today, employer trust is at an all-time high, which presents organizational leaders with an important, yet challenging opportunity to safely and effectively guide employees through the vaccine rollout. At Buoy, we see the vaccine as the most viable path to 'returning to normal' based on the available science, and we're committed to continuing to support our partners in the most thoughtful way as they look to safely reopen."

Buoy's Vaccine Tool and Reporting Dashboard

Buoy's vaccine tool and reporting dashboard was built, and will continue to evolve alongside updated guidelines from the FDA and CDC, with extensive insight and direction from the industry-leading behavioral scientists and bioethicists that make up Buoy's Back With Care Advisory Board. By offering a scientific approach to help employers successfully maneuver the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the vaccine tool is designed to:

  • Provide insight into employees' interest and progress in getting vaccinated
  • Help organizational leaders leverage these insights to develop targeted communication strategies and plan for workplace staffing
  • Communicate critical information clearly and fairly to mitigate vaccine hesitancy and support employee choice through the vaccine process, regardless of whether or not they plan to get vaccinated
  • Along with the Buoy team, offer strategic guidance and consulting to help ensure vaccine rollout initiatives are serving each organization's personalized workplace reopening plan

Employee/Employer Experience

The experience begins with an employee-facing screener that is meticulously designed using insights from behavioral science. The tool applies well-established principles including strong defaults (e.g. asking "when" not "if" an employee plans to get vaccinated), implementation intentions, and goal gradient that retain employees' autonomy while encouraging honesty and healthy behaviors. This experience is supplemented with innovative and engaging educational content modules that help ensure vaccine-hesitant employees are armed with the right information to make the best decisions for their health, vaccine dosage reminders (when relevant), and navigation to resources that show where and when employees can get vaccinated. In addition, employer-specific guidance and links can be set up for each stage in the process, ensuring fair and careful messaging with significant flexibility as employers adapt their strategies throughout the coming year. Buoy's tool carefully takes into consideration the following during the initial employee intent screening and engagement:

  • Priming for honesty
  • Providing choice while setting up healthy default options
  • Encouraging users to make a plan for vaccination
  • Tracking progress toward the goal of immunization with key information at each step

Employers are presented with a real-time dashboard that reports macro and micro views into employee populations, including employee desire to get vaccinated and vaccine status. Working with Buoy, employers can leverage these insights to develop a targeted communication strategy and data-driven reopening plan in line with business continuity efforts.

"Buoy has fully embraced this blended model of experience design and behavioral science, creating a tool that not only encourages and supports employee vaccination through science-based behavior change techniques, but also respects employees' autonomy," said Julie Miller, PhD, senior behavioral scientist, The Center for Advanced Hindsight, Duke University. "This thoughtful approach has major benefits to both the employer, helping them to gather accurate insights into their workforce and inspire their employees to make healthy choices, as well as to the employee, by supporting them and informing them at every step of the process. Every detail has been considered for maximizing both usability and impact."

To learn more about Buoy's vaccine tool, register for our webinar, "The Nudge to Vaccinate: Using Choice Architecture to Combat Employee Hesitancy," featuring Chantell Reagan, National Pharmacy Practice Clinical Leader of Willis Tower Watson, on Feb. 23 at noonET, or visit this website.

About Buoy HealthBuoy is a Boston-based digital health company that uses AI technology to provide personalized clinical support the moment an individual has a health concern. Developed out of the Harvard Innovation Labs by a team of doctors and data scientists, 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. For more information, please visit www.buoy.com.

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SOURCE Buoy Health, Inc.

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