Symptom checker as a freebie - pros and cons

Some companies that use Infermedica solutions have implemented free symptom-checking tools for their end-users. What are the benefits?

Symptom checkers that are available without prior registration or cost can benefit healthcare organizations even before the symptom checker users become patients or members.

How can your organization benefit from providing a free symptom checker? 

Acquire users

Enabling a symptom-checking tool for free in your touchpoints can attract new members and patients. The key is to communicate it on your home page or through marketing campaigns.  As to why this is attractive, well, firstly, your organization is extending a helping hand by asking your users about their symptoms and needs. Secondly, by using symptom checkers, you present your organization as innovative and open to guiding those who need help.

Triage patients before they book a visit

One of the key functions of our symptom checker is providing a triage recommendation. Another is recommending an appropriate specialist for a given condition. Inviting potential patients to run a symptom assessment before browsing your offers and booking a visit gives you the opportunity to verify their needs and propose results that are tailored to those needs. It can also equip your operational strategy with important indicators for services and demand.

Educate users

People often don’t know what level of medical help they require. This is one of the most common reasons for unnecessary visits to EDs. Helping people to assess their symptoms ahead of a medical visit allows them to make more informed health decisions through a better understanding of their health. By providing educational resources to people with low triage levels (e.g., self-care or consultation), you can influence their health habits, minimize their need to visit a doctor and help them better prepare for a visit.

Increased user accounts in your patient portal

Once the symptom check is finished, you can use the results screen to navigate users toward your services. Apart from inviting users to book a consultation, you can also ask them to set up an account in your patient portal, where the symptom checker’s results history is stored. Once users have an account, their demographic information will be saved and automatically entered into any future symptom checks, saving them precious time.

Build user-first communication

Free symptom checkers bring a new approach to marketing campaigns. With a symptom checker, you don’t have to guess the needs of a target group; you can simply ask them. You can accomplish this by building user-oriented campaigns that ask, for example, “How are you feeling today?” and “Are there any symptoms you’d like to check?”

Support users 24/7

In contrast to many medical services, a symptom checker is available anytime, day or night. You can therefore provide medical support to your users even when your facility is closed, informing them of possible causes of their symptoms, their triage level, and how quickly they should see a doctor.

Learn users' needs

Symptom checkers are powerful tools that collect and learn users’ needs. By inviting potential patients to complete a symptom check, you gain information about their symptoms, risk factors, and possible conditions. With this anonymized data, you can verify your actual users and then adjust your offering or communication accordingly.

Infermedica can provide you with access to analytical tools. Contact our support team to learn more -> 

Improve brand awareness

Last but not least, providing a free symptom checker leads to better positioning of the brand itself. First, the company presents itself as ready for innovation, making the user journey easier. Second, users can check out the company’s offerings in a pressure-free environment and see if those offerings meet their needs before making a commitment

Of course, there are also cons to enabling symptom-checking tools for free. By providing a free symptom checker, you aren’t guaranteed that those users will actually convert into clients. Also, if you decide to use a symptom checker as a data completion tool, you lose the data if the user doesn’t set up an account. 

Some health organizations prefer to add a symptom checker to their premium services. It depends on the business model. Despite that, we see that a free symptom checker is an important tool for user acquisition, navigation, and research. 

Deciding how to share a symptom checker with your users should be aligned with your use case and business goals.


AKw, NBo