MSP Business Journal: Zipnosis closes on another $3 million to improve platform, expand

Digital-health company Zipnosis Inc. has closed on a $3 million financing round.

View the full article here.

4 Ways Telemedicine is Changing Healthcare

The industry of telemedicine is at a tipping point, expanding far beyond interactions between physicians and patients into entirely new ways to deliver healthcare and practice medicine.

In recognition of this phenomenon, Phoenix-based Banner Health, a trendsetter with a robust history employing this technology, will scrap the term telemedicine in the future and employ the expression virtual health.

“For me, the word telehealth means it has a video component,” says Deborah Dahl, vice president of patient care innovation at Banner Health. “Virtual health may have video, but it also could include artificial intelligence, apps, and chatbots,” along with other technologies, she says.

These resources are extending the value and relevance of telemedicine by addressing the quadruple aim to improve population health, enhance the patient experience, reduce costs, and increase provider satisfaction. Read more.

Zipnosis quietly raises $3M for provider telemedicine tools

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Zipnosis, which offers whitelabeled telemedicine tools to providers, quietly raised a $3 million funding round last week. The raise came from existing investors. The company’s last round, in January 2016, was supported by Safeguard Scientifics, Ascension Ventures, Fairview Health Services, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Arthur Ventures, Waterline Ventures and Omphalos Ventures. This brings the company’s total funding to $23 million.

“As an organization focused on sustainable, organic growth, we were very intentional about the size of our Series B,” Zipnosis CEO Jon Pearce said in a statement. “In this industry, you hear about huge amounts of cash being splashed around. Zipnosis didn’t require a massive infusion of investment to achieve our growth objectives. It was more important for us to take precisely what we needed to move to the next level – no more and no less.”

In the lead up to HIMSS18, Pearce spoke to MobiHealthNews about his company’s strategy. Whereas many large telemedicine companies are offering services via health insurers or direct to consumer, Zipnosis continues to focus on enabling providers to launch their own telemedicine services. Read more.

Zipnosis Picks Up $3m In Fresh Capital

Minneapolis healthtech venture Zipnosis has raised $3m in new convertible capital investment according to CFO Eric Bosler.

Zipnosis was established in 2008 by CEO Jon Pearce to offer economical online diagnosis and prescription services for minor health ailments, defining telehealth in the early days.

While they started as a direct to consumer model and began scaling with that approach, the company shifted the product into a true B2B SaaS solution by 2013 and began partnering with a variety of nationwide medical providers who wanted to offer the virtual visit option directly to their own patients.

“We believe that every health system and care provider in the country must have a digital front door and offer virtual care,” Bosler says of the company’s ongoing operating thesis.

After years of heads down business building, the big boom came for Zipnosis in 2016 via $17m investment round in December 2015 led by Safeguard Scientifics of Pennsylvania, with funding also from Ascension Ventures (MO), a subsidiary of the nation’s largest Catholic health care system. Hyde Park Venture Partners (IL), Arthur Ventures (MN), Waterline Ventures (MA) and Omphalos Venture Partners (MN) also participated in that round. Read more.

Online-care software company Zipnosis nabs $3 million

Zipnosis Inc., which makes the software that drives many health systems’ online-care programs, has closed on $3 million in equity financing.

The Minneapolis-based company launched about a decade ago and initially developed an online-diagnosis service it pitched directly to consumers. The company later changed course and began marketing its software to health care providers, which use the company’s technology to create their own branded online-care offerings.

Most of Minnesota’s major health care providers, including Minneapolis-based Allina Health System and Fairview Health Services, are Zipnosis customers. Minneapolis-based Fairview is also an investor in the company.

In March, Zipnosis struck a deal with the American Academy of Family Physicians, which will use Zipnosis’ technology to launch a virtual health program to its roughly 129,000 members. The company will put its recent round of funding toward supporting its partnership with AAFP and the launch of a new product for the post-operative care market, Zipnosis CEO and co-founder Jon Pearce said in an email. The new product will allow hospitals and surgery centers to provide online follow-up care to patients after they undergo orthopedic procedures. Read more.

Healthcare digital transformation maps the new patient journey

But when technology works well, the core goals of healthcare digital transformation usually blossom and benefit patient care. Those goals include a move from paper and faxed records to electronic versions, such as patient bills; a streamlined process from diagnosis to admission, treatment and discharge; and an emphasis on healthier outcomes for patients.

Although the transition to electronic health records (EHRs) was an important factor in moving health systems forward technologically, Indu Subaiya, M.D., sees healthcare digital transformation more broadly than simply providers ditching paper in favor of EHRs. Digital transformation is more about integrating EHR data with other applications in near real time and making that information available to patients with an easy-access approach. Subaiya is executive vice president of Health 2.0, which produces market research and organizes conferences on new health technologies and is a division of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. Read more.

The Next Big Thing in Healthcare Isn’t “Tele” At All

Over the past ten years or so, telemedicine has taken off.

A recent report says the telemedicine market will be worth $113.1 billion by 20251, and there are many similar reports predicting its global market value, surveys and studies compiling and analyzing provider and patient attitudes toward it, and countless articles discussing how telemedicine is truly the future of care delivery. But is it?

To answer that question, I’d like to look at an unlikely parallel: consumer banking. Back in the 90s, the transition of standard, in-person banking activities to automated phone systems was a big deal. “Telebanking” was billed as the latest, disruptive technology; banking for consumers was no longer tied to the standard 9-5 bank lobby hours – it was a revolution in convenience.

If that sounds silly, it’s because you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who would willingly choose an automated phone system over the more convenient online and app-based banking available today.

Telemedicine today is much like telebanking in the 90s. Namely, it’s the first step toward transforming healthcare into a consumer-centric, convenience-first experience. But, it’s only the first step. Read more.

Virtual Care: Transforming the Way We See Our Providers

In this series we are seeking out the transforming technology of Virtual Care. How does virtual care fit into what we know as telemedicine?  What are the newest innovations and products in virtual care? For telemedicine policy and reimbursement issues, read our regular reporting on Telehealth on RCM Answers. Read more.

Closing keynote will examine future of health care delivery systems in a digital world

Pharmacies and grocery stores aren’t just for picking up medications and ingredients anymore. Patients have been utilizing retail clinics and urgent care clinics to receive care for minor conditions because it’s convenient, said Kevin L. Smith, DNP, FNP, FAANP, Chief Medical Information Officer at Zipnosis, a virtual care technology company. The success of these health care delivery systems is a telling sign of the new age of health care consumerism. Now, digital health options are further enabling the transformation of passive patients into savvy health care consumers. In the Closing General Session keynote address on Saturday, Dr. Smith will explore the emerging role of the connected patient amid the rapidly expanding digital and virtual health care delivery options and how they are both coming together to create a positive force of change in the health care industry. Read more.

Zipnosis certified by Surescripts to add medication history to virtual care platform

Zipnosis, providers of virtual care software, has been certified by Surescripts to add medication history services to its virtual care platform.

The certification allows providers to view real-time medication history validation and prescriptions from the updated provider workflow. Additionally, Zipnosis will provide extra safety features including medication interaction and allergy checking as well as prescribing precautions related to pregnancy and breastfeeding. The added functions to the platform allow providers to make more accurate decisions on medications using personalized healthcare data. Read more.

Zipnosis adds medication history services to telehealth platform

Zipnosis physicians will be able to access Surescripts’ medication history services under a new certification, Zipnosis confirmed June 27.

Surescripts, a health information network, supports e-prescription, or electronically transmitting prescriptions between healthcare organizations and pharmacies. Under the new certification, physicians using Zipnosis’ virtual care platform will be able to view a patient’s medication history information from pharmacy benefit managers and community pharmacies.

Surescripts officials said the service will help to inform its physicians of patients’ current and past prescriptions to account for potential adverse drug interactions when prescribing medications.

“Incorporating Surescripts medication history information as part of the provider workflow further enhances their ability to make clinically sound prescribing decisions and streamlines their experience with the platform,” Dr. Kevin Smith, chief medical information officer of Zipnosis, said in the company’s June 27 statement. Read more.

Upcoming Webinar with MultiCare Health System

Join MultiCare Health System and Zipnosis for an exploration of how virtual care is impacting patient acquisition. Emily Yu, Director of Retail Clinics and Virtual Health, will share the results of a study that demonstrates virtual care’s utility as a patient acquisition channel.

You will learn:

  • Why patient acquisition is a useful success measure for virtual care
  • How patient panel growth and market share are linked 
  • The value of virtual care as a patient acquisition channel

Register now!

In-Depth: Four major telemedicine trends of 2018

Telemedicine continues to move from the peripheries of healthcare into the mainstream. Earlier this week, a national review of 145 telemedicine studies conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Qualityconcluded that the technology likely improves access to care and has clinical benefits in acute and chronic care. This report also found less robust evidence that telemedicine in these settings likely reduces ICU length of stay, mortality, and costs.

As telemedicine becomes more recognized, its role in healthcare is growing. Uses of the technology are going beyond the four walls of a hospital, delivery is becoming less reliant on payer-based models, and government bodies and policymakers are increasingly stepping up to bat when it comes to telemedicine-friendly regulation and government-funded programs.

Here is a closer look at a few of the leading telemedicine trends that have emerged so far in 2018. Read more.

Report: One-third of patients who used a hospital’s telehealth platform received in-person care at the facility within 1 year

Tacoma, Wash.-based MultiCare Health System succeeded in increasing patient acquisitions through its telehealth program, according to an analysis by the health system and its virtual care provider Zipnosis.

MultiCare Health System and Zipnosis tapped healthcare analytics firm Carrot Health to conduct the study, which identified and followed 304 telehealth users who had not received in-person care at MultiCare Health System for at least two years prior to their remote visit on MultiCare Virtual Care — an online diagnosis and treatment service for common conditions. Read more.

Picking The Right Telehealth Platform For a Small or Solo Practice

When choosing to launch a virtual visit service, small healthcare providers need to think carefully about telehealth technology, patient needs and realistic goals.

For a small practice or solo physician, launching a virtual care platform might seem like a waste of time and money, especially in a climate where both are in such short supply. But telemedicine offers vital operational and clinical benefits that might mean the difference between a healthy practice and one that goes under.

The trick is in choosing the right service.

“It’s definitely something that has to be well thought out,” argues Wendy Diebert, Vice President of Clinical Services at Vidyo, a telehealth provider. “You can’t just pick one (technology platform) and expect it to work.” Read more.

Zipnosis Unveils Surgical Care Module to Help Save Time with Online Post-Operative Visits

Virtual care company Zipnosis, today announced the launch of Surgical Care, the latest platform expansion that allows patients to receive post-operative care from the comfort of their homes. This module represents a new direction for the overall platform, which still maintains a focus on episodic, urgent care conditions, and is the next step toward growing the solution to meet a wider variety of clinical needs while continuing to improve access to care.

Zipnosis Surgical Care Overview

Surgical Care offers hospitals and surgical centers the ability to shift routine in-person post-operative visits to an online access point, saving time for both the surgical team and patients. Surgical teams also have the option to add online visits between in-person visits as a means of ensuring post-operative care compliance to help improve patient recovery. Since most surgeries are reimbursed as a bundled payment, virtual visits are a cost-effective option for post-operative care. Read more.

Zipnosis adds post-surgical care services to telehealth platform

Zipnosis expanded its telehealth platform with a module designed to connect patients to post-operative care services following orthopedic surgery, the virtual care company confirmed April 11.

The surgical care module enables hospitals and surgery centers to transition select in-person post-operative visits to Zipnosis’ online platform. As part of a post-operative care plan, a hospital or surgery center determines at which points a patient should complete a virtual check-in, which comprises a brief online interview and uploading a photograph of the incision site.

A member of the facility’s surgical team is able to review the patient’s responses to determine whether he or she should visit the clinic for a more in-depth evaluation. Read more.

AAFP, Zipnosis partner to develop telehealth platform for family physicians

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has announced a partnership with Zipnosis, providers of virtual care technology, to provide AAFP’s 129,000 members and their patients with a comprehensive virtual care platform.

Following a 2017 AAFP member survey that showcased an increased demand for virtual care services, the partnership aims to develop a platform addressing the need for online diagnosis and treatment options. The platform will allow AAFP members to offer patients access to care with their family physician through a virtual care portal.

“Patients today want quick and easy access to health care, but that convenience shouldn’t come at the cost of the relationship they have with their family physician,” said Steven Waldren, MD, director of the AAFP’s Alliance for eHealth Innovation. “Offering this new telemedicine platform gives our family physician members another tool through which they can care for patients.” Read more.

AAFP, Zipnosis to collaborate on online consultation platform

The American Academy of Family Physicians is teaming up with a vendor to roll out a telemedicine platform that will enable member physicians to conduct online consultations with patients.

The AAFP has announced a collaboration with Zipnosis on the project, which will use a platform that will offer an online service to enable patients to provide symptom and health history information for diagnosis and treatment by their physician.

“Patients want quick and easy access to healthcare, but that convenience should not come at the cost of the relationship they have with their family physician,’ says Steven Waldren, MD, a family medicine specialist and director of the Alliance for eHealth Innovation program at AAFP. “Offering this new telemedicine platform gives our family physician members another tool through which they can care for patients.” Read more. 

AAFP & Zipnosis Partner to Bring Virtual Care to Family Physicians Nationwide

Today, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and Zipnosis announced a strategic partnership to provide a virtual care platform to the AAFP’s 129,000 members and their patients. With the virtual care platform’s online diagnosis and treatment solution with the option of video, AAFP members now can offer their patients convenient access to care by connecting them virtually with their family physician anywhere at any time.

AAFP plans to offer the virtual care platform to a select group of innovators as part of a pilot designed to help further tailor it to the specific needs of family physicians. The service will be available to all AAFP members later in 2018. Read more. 

American Academy of Family Physicians partners with Zipnosis for telemedicine platform

The American Academy of Family Physicians and virtual care technology vendor Zipnosis are embarking on a partnership that will offer a virtual healthcare platform to AAFP’s 129,000 members.

The telemedicine tech provides an online diagnosis and treatment system that would enable AAFP members to offer their patients easy access to care by connecting them virtually with their family physician.

AAFP will offer the telehealth platform to a select group of physicians as part of a pilot designed to help further tailor it to the specific needs of family physicians. The service then will be available to all AAFP members later in 2018. Read more. 

AAFP connects members with telehealth platform under new pilot program: 4 things to know

The American Academy of Family Physicians plans to roll out a telehealth service to its 129,000 members in late 2018.

Here are four things to know about the telehealth service:

1. The AAFP will offer the telehealth platform through a partnership with Zipnosis, a provider of virtual healthcare technology. On the telehealth platform, AAFP members will be able to connect with their existing patients to supplement in-person care with remote diagnosis and treatment services.

2. The telehealth service will provide family physicians access to an online interview platform, where patients are able to provide symptoms and health history information. It will also offer physicians video consultation technology to remotely connect with their patients. Read more.

Zipnosis Branches Into Family Medicine

The American Academy of Family Physicians is offering Zipnosis, an online telemedicine video chat and messaging platform, to its 129,000 members and their patients.

Zipnosis is unrolling the service initially to a small group of physicians so the company can assess what kind of set-up support those practices need, Becki Hafner-Fogarty of Zipnosis told Morning eHealth. All members will have access later in 2018.

The software lets physicians video chat, message and issue questionnaires to patients who also have the app. Zipnosis generally charges a set-up fee and a flat subscription fee for each provider system, regardless of the number of clinicians using it. The AAFP partnership lets physician members pay a discounted rate for the Zipnosis set-up and service. Read more. 

American Academy of Family Physicians picks Zipnosis in its first telemedicine collaboration

Zipnosis has agreed to its first collaboration with medical society the American Academy of Family Physicians. AAFP has been working with the company to develop an onboarding site for small and medium-sized family physician practices and plans to offer the platform to members later this year after an initial pilot.

In a phone interview with Steven Waldren, director of the AAFP’s Alliance for eHealth Innovation, he said the collaboration with Zipnosis was the group’s first with a telemedicine company. It selected the company following an RFP process.

“Zipnosis is really thinking about the physician. They’ve thought about what physicians need on a practical level, including evidence-based medicine, guidelines to care,” Waldren said. Read more.

Allina Health Expands Online Care Offerings

Allina Health, a Minneapolis-based, 12-hospital health system, recently announced the launch of Allina Health Everyday Online, an update to the health system’s online diagnosis and treatment service.

Allina Health has partnered with virtual care company Zipnosis to expand and update its online care offerings to make online visits available to new patients as well as existing patients.

Allina Health Everyday Online complements Allina Health’s Everyday service line, focused on bringing convenient access to patients throughout Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.

“Since we already had a virtual care service in place, it was important that this service launch offer opportunities for us to grow our online capabilities,” Dave Slowinske, senior vice president, Allina Health Group Operations, said in a statement. “Having the Zipnosis platform as the technology behind Allina Health Everyday Online means that we can continue to offer exceptional convenience and a high-quality service backed by our healthcare providers, as well as grow and expand our online capabilities.” Read more. 

Q&A: Zipnosis CEO Jon Pearce on why telemedicine is dead, how he wins big customers

Jon Pearce is CEO and co-founder of digital health company Zipnosis Inc., which makes software that drives the online-care programs offered by many large health systems around the country. Pearce launched the business a decade ago and it now counts most of the Twin Cities’ major care providers among its customers.

Minneapolis-based Zipnosis closed on $17 million in venture capital about three years ago and has grown to 45 employees. Pearce sat down with the Business Journal to talk about the changing telemedicine market, how he wins customers and his biggest business mistake. The conversation was edited for length and clarity.

You majored in Russian back in college. What drew you to the language? I did Russian and computer science and I like to joke that I don’t speak Russian well or code well. I started college in 1997 and that was around the time when both China and Russia were looking like the next global power. I thought Russia would have been an interesting place to do business and fell in love with the language and the music. I have no desire to do business in Russia now.

How did you get into health care? I got to health care through technology. I had an internship at medical-software startup Provation Medical and fell in love with that. After I graduated, they had me launch a product for the orthopedics market. I was fresh out of college, knowing nothing about health care, and standing in an operating room with orthopedic surgeons thinking, “I don’t belong here.” They’d have their rock music on, sawing away at bone. I almost passed out. Provation ultimately got bought and it was really interesting, as a startup guy, to see the transition and all the expectations that come around a startup being sold.

You started out pitching Zipnosis as an online-diagnosis service to consumers. Now health care providers use your software to offer their own services. What drove the business model change? We’ve lived and died a lot of different times. We started out as MinuteClinic on the iPhone. Two things were fundamentally flawed: We were ahead of the adoption curve and we were trying to make money on every $25 visit. The patient uptake wasn’t there and the margins weren’t there. When Fairview Health Services came to us and said, “We’re looking for a platform,” we said, “Let’s go explore that.”

What went into your decision to raise venture capital? We were profitable in 2014 and had good metrics. We could have just continued to get by. But some of this is, are you going to be a Greyhound bus or a rocket ship? The market was really starting to take off. We were seeing this massive shift from the old-school telemedicine, where it’s hardware-based and outsourced — like a Teladoc — to health care providers taking this on themselves, and it becoming more software-based. That’s really where we’ve planted our flag, and the market is just racing after us.

Is the telemedicine market today over-hyped? Read more.

The Virtual Care Insider: New Features for 2018

It’s hard to believe, but we’re exactly 2 months in to 2018. At Zipnosis we have a lot of big things coming for the year, so keep your eyes peeled, and Virtual Care Insider is no exception! Coming in 2018 you’ll see new features, new authors, and new topics, as well as the insights and thought leadership you’ve come to expect. As the virtual care industry continues to evolve, so do we!

New Features for 2018:

Under the Hood

Under the Hood is our new feature giving you a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes to support the Zipnosis platform. From clinical to engineering to account support, get a peek behind the curtain and learn what goes into creating and maintaining and supporting the best darn virtual care platform out there.

Get to Know Zipnosis

One of the things we’re proud of is our amazing team, and we think it’s sad that most of our customers and prospects don’t get a chance to meet the talented group of people responsible for building and maintaining the Zipnosis platform. This new feature will give you a chance to get to know some of the people who work behind the scenes.

Trend Watch

Trend Watch will be a deep dive into one of the key industry trends, giving you more detailed information and a better idea of the impacts to virtual care and health systems. We’ve already had our first Trend Watch edition (by Dr. Lisa Ide, focusing on employers’ use of virtual care as an employee benefit), and you can look forward to more in the coming year.

The Big Question

What is the Big Question in virtual care? That’s what we want to know! We want to provide an open forum where our virtual care experts (and we have a bunch of them) answer your burning questions about virtual care. So, don’t be shy – submit your question and have it answered on our blog.

HIMSS18 Connected Health Experience to feature AI, voice assistants and more

A wide range of innovations from HHS’ BlueButton API to Zipnosis will be demonstrating cutting-edge products.

The Personal Connected Health Alliance’s Connected Health Experience at HIMSS18 will feature a series of presentations and demonstrations of the latest connected health innovations. But this year the range of subjects will be even wider.

“There’s some similarities and some differences from last year,” said John Sharp, senior manager at PCHA. “As before, we’re going to be having mobile apps and remote monitoring devices and sensors, but then also have some companies exhibiting about artificial intelligence and virtual reality as well.”

In addition to a range of vendors, such as Zipnosis, Carbon Health, and Nokia Digital Health, the sessions will include some non-sponsor expert presentations, including a Blue Button API presentation from the HHS Innovation Center. Read more.

10 Best Tech Startups in Minneapolis

The Tech Tribune staff has compiled the very best tech startups in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In doing our research, we considered several factors including but not limited to:

  1. Revenue potential
  2. Leadership team
  3. Brand/product traction
  4. Competitive landscape

Additionally, all companies must be independent (un-acquired), privately owned, at most 10 years old, and have received at least one round of funding in order to qualify. Read more.

UAB offers eMedicine service to see patients in their own homes

If you’re suffering from flu-like symptoms, you should see a doctor, but you may not have to do that in person.

UAB offers an online method to get checked out called eMedicine.

Doctors with the health system tell CBS 42 News that the new tool has been helpful with the flu outbreak. The flu is one of the ideal conditions e-medicine is used for, but it’s not for every condition.

“This does not replace your primary care provider, this does not replace an urgent care clinic that can handle a broad array of issues,” said Dr. Stuart Cohen, Medical Director with UAB Primary Care. “But really, like I said, for sort of primarily flu-like illnesses, upper respiratory, sinus infections and simple urinary tract infections are really what the platform is best suited for.”

So, if you have something potentially more serious than that, you may need to actually see a doctor. But for basic symptoms like the ones you just heard, you may be able to save time by utilizing eMedicine. Watch video.

Zipnosis Moves Telemedicine Away from Video, Toward Providers

Via MobiHealth News:

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Zipnosis is bucking traditional telemedicine wisdom in two ways. One, the company has always worked to deliver telemedicine services to patients by working with their existing provider. Two, they are moving away from video visit as the default for telemedicine.

“I always looked at phone and video as more of an analog model,” said Jon Pearce, CEO of Zipnosis. “I said we have to be a digital company. I love to ask people ‘When was the last time you bought something on Amazon using a video visit?’ You haven’t. The standard of convenience has been set outside of healthcare and I think what we’re trying to do is push the technology in a way that connects those patients and providers in an efficient and elegant experience.”

At HIMSS18 in Las Vegas, Zipnosis will show a new chat interface it has been piloting with Methodist Health System in North Texas. Read more.

The Virtual Care Reimbursement Conundrum

Excerpted from remarks by Dr. Hafner-Fogarty at the C-Tel conference, December 1, 2017

Virtual care holds enormous potential to transform the healthcare landscape. Since you are here, you most likely agree that virtual care (and telemedicine) can be of great benefit for patients, providers, and health systems. In today’s digitally focused landscape, virtual care is truly on the cusp of having a dramatic, positive impact. But – and of course there’s always a but – there’s a big obstacle standing in the way: provider adoption, fueled by inconsistent virtual care reimbursement .

I’ve noticed huge disparity in statistics associated with provider adoption of “telemedicine”. For example, a KPMG survey earlier this year found that about 30% of clinician respondents were using some form of telemedicine. However, a 2016 AAFP survey showed only 15% of respondents had used telemedicine tools in the previous 12 months. Maybe most telling is that the KPMG survey listed provider reluctance as a top barrier to health systems implementing a telemedicine solution. Read more.

Doctors using virtual care visits to treat flu patients

 – Hospitals are feeling the strain as people with the flu pack into waiting rooms and clinics. But some North Texas doctors are taking advantage of a new technology to make a diagnosis without the sick person ever leaving their home.

When Dr. Akanksha Kumar with Methodist Health isn’t seeing patients face to face with flu symptoms, she’s treating them virtually.

The medical center’s new virtual care program called Methodist NOW has been active for about two weeks. It allows people to exchange messages in a real-time chat session with a doctor. Read more.

Essentia Health launches online diagnosis and treatment service

Essentia Health has launched Essentia E-Visit – an online diagnosis and treatment service that puts care in the palms of people’s hands.

Through this online service, patients in Detroit Lakes and other communities Essentia serves can seek care from trusted Essentia care teams using only their smartphones, tablets or computers, at home or on the go.

Essentia E-Visit is designed to help patients get the care they need, when and where they want it. Shaped by patient input, Essentia E-Visit is part of Essentia’s patient-centric focus, which also includes changes at clinic locations such as extended hours, expanding urgent care locations and adding more clinics with weekend hours. Read more.

Digital health trends and predictions for 2018, part 2

Last week, we published part 1 of our digital health trends and predictions piece, covering big picture trends like vertical integration and healthcare consumerization, as well as some of the buzzy tech trends of voice, AI, and blockchain.

This week, with the help of a range of expert stakeholders, we’re zooming in on four specific areas in digital health to look at what we can expect in the year to come from remote patient monitoring, telemedicine, the FDA, and digital therapeutics.

Read on for part 2 of our 2018 trends and predictions roundup, then check out part 1 here if you missed it. Read more. 

The future of health care is looking virtual

Health care in the U.S. is in a state of flux, with policymakers, insurers, health systems and individual providers all trying to address the difficulties presented by an aging population, growing physician shortage and rising health care costs.

Health care organizations now need to be strategic and innovative to make health care in the U.S. more effective – and providers are looking to technologies like virtual care to quiet these concerns.

The concept of telemedicine has taken off over the past decade and its adoption will only continue to grow, as the telemedicine market is expected to reach approximately $38 billion in 2022. The industry, including both providers and patients, considers telemedicine a next generation health care tool and the future of care delivery – a fact that frankly raises a few red flags for me. How can telemedicine be a “next generation tool” when it originated back in the 1960s as a combination of telematic modes of communication and medicine? Read more.

Mission Health’s virtual care success lies in EHR, telehealth integrated workflow

Since it launched its virtual care telemedicine program in October 2016, Mission Health in Asheville, North Carolina, has completed 1,200 patient visits. In November 2017, the provider organization saw its highest overall use with 178 total visits; 155 of those were treated via its Mission Virtual Clinic program and 23 were triaged out for additional evaluation and treatment.

“Since July 2017, we have seen steady growth in the use of Mission Virtual Clinic,” said Steve North, MD, clinical director, Mission Virtual Clinic, and a family physician at Mission Health.

The provider organization uses Cerner for its EHR and Zipnosis for telemedicine.

“I believe this growth is due to a combination of increased marketing to the community, increased community acceptance of the care delivery, and increased provider acceptance resulting in fewer referrals out,” said North.

Mission Health now is recommending Mission Virtual Clinic in combination with its primary care practices, North added. Read more. 

With consumerism in mind, Methodist Family Health debuts new telehealth service

The trend toward healthcare consumerism increasingly is at the forefront of health system decisions. In growing numbers, patients are making healthcare choices based on the ability of providers to bring value in the form of access and experience.

This patient-focused mindset is at the heart of Methodist Medical Group’s strategic direction, and a key factor in its decision to launch a new telemedicine system aimed at fulfilling the demands of consumerism. Read more.

Methodist Family Health Centers Launches Virtual Care Service

Methodist Family Health Centers, a part of Methodist Medical Group and affiliate of Methodist Health System, today announced the launch of Methodist NOW – an online diagnosis and treatment service that enables patients to receive convenient access to care by connecting them virtually with trusted Methodist Family Health Center providers. 

Methodist NOW is powered by Zipnosis, a virtual care company that enables health systems to provide virtual care services, meeting the needs of patients while improving access to care and maximizing clinical capacity. This launch marks the next phase in Methodist Medical Group’s broad consumer access strategy.

Methodist NOW facilitates care delivery through evidence-based online interviews paired with real-time chat functionality that enables patients and providers to exchange messages when additional information is needed for a diagnosis. The trend toward healthcare consumerism is increasingly at the forefront of health system decisions. Read more.


How artificial intelligence is shaping healthcare delivery

There is no shortage of articles — scholarly and magazine — around the ways that artificial intelligence (or, as it’s commonly known, AI) will change health care delivery. We are at the precipice of a digital and genomic explosion in health care that has the potential to out-pace even the smartest, most diligent physician’s ability to keep up. That said, AI is poised to help physicians effectively navigate this changing landscape and improve the care they can offer patients.

Looking to the future is exciting and intriguing. It’s also speculative. AI is still very much in its infancy, which means that people can overestimate or underestimate its potential impact. I’m going to try not to do either, and instead present a clear picture of how AI is impacting care delivery today and the ways it will do so in the near-term.

What AI won’t do… Read more.

Innovators in Health & Wellness

We celebrate the top Health and Wellness leaders of 2017
Longtime readers of Minnesota Business will note a change in this year’s awards in the health sector. We’ve transitioned from our previous concept of “Leaders in Health Care,” to honoring innovators in both health and wellness.

In 2017, innovation is the coin of the realm. Much of Minnesota’s modern identity is anchored in its distinguished history of medical innovation, from breakthrough treatments at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota to advances credited to the medical device industry. Innovation has brought investment, jobs and prosperity to the state and burnished its worldwide reputation as a progressive place for businesses to thrive. Read more.

Emergency department overuse: routing low-acuity visits away from the ED with virtual care

Emergency departments (EDs) are a critical component of the healthcare industry in the U.S. They offer a safety net for people with emergent care needs.

But with its 24/7 availability and the increasing expectations of on-demand service, we see more and more people seeking care at the ED. The CDC reports that an estimated 20 percent of U.S. adults visit the emergency room each year, resulting in approximately 141.4 million annual ED visits.

ED use is also increasing relative to availability. The 2012 Health, United States report noted a 34 percent increase in ED visits between 1995 and 2010 – nearly twice the rate of population growth. During that same time, the CDC found that the number of hospital emergency departments decreased by approximately 11 percent. While we’ve seen an increase in free-standing EDs in recent years that has helped redress the imbalance, the rise in demand and reduction in supply are precipitating very real concerns about overuse. Read more.

Doctors prescribe dramatically different remedies for ‘No. 1 public health crisis’

JACKSON – As the opioid epidemic propels overdose deaths in Mississippi to a record high this year, doctors in the state agree that they need to be the first line of defense against prescription drug abuse.

But what that line of defense will look like has become the topic of a very contentious debate between the state Board of Medical Licensure, which governs all doctors, and several prominent physician associations.

In October, the Board of Medical Licensure released its new recommendations for prescribing opioids, one of the first regulatory moves by a state agency to combat Mississippi’s nascent epidemic. If implemented, these recommendations would govern how doctors prescribe these substances, potentially costing physicians their licenses if not followed. Read more.

Healthcare Regulation: Virtual Care Goes to Washington

Healthcare regulation: It’s a challenging, complex, and fascinating thing. And it becomes even more so when new technologies like virtual care are added to the equation. We all know that technology moves at the speed of light – after all, people are now entering the workforce who never lived in a world without the internet. Regulation, however well-intentioned, just can’t keep up.

Fortunately, telemedicine and virtual care are increasingly on the radar of legislators. After attending a gathering at the Senate Broadband Caucus and the American Telemedicine Association’s EDGE conference, both in Washington D.C., I can confirm there is significant interest in the benefits that virtual care can bring to all healthcare stakeholders: Patients, providers, and payers. Read more.

Virtual Care: The Missing Ingredient to Your Digital Health Strategy

Technology is driving the future of care delivery, and it is important for the healthcare industry to stay current with these innovative solutions—so critical, in fact, that it can affect a health system’s organizational success. Faced with the rising tide of consumerism in patient populations, the increasing competition from traditional and non-traditional healthcare companies, and the fast-moving transition to value-based care, healthcare entities are looking to technology—including virtual care—to answer these challenges.

Specifically, being successful in this new age of technology-driven care requires health systems to build a seamless, comprehensive digital health ecosystem. This ecosystem needs to support the health systems’ overall goals, including enhanced patient access, continuity of care, streamlining processes like billing and claims, easy patient visit scheduling, and top-of-the-line patient experience—all while improving patient outcomes. Read more. 

Cool Offices: Zipnosis expands to new space in T3 building

Over the past eight years since its inception, virtual-care company Zipnosis has continuously expanded, prompting a search for a larger and more accommodating space. Executives found it in the T3 office building, a new take on a vintage warehouse designed by Hines. Located in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood, Zipnosis moved into T3 in April 2017.

Perkins+Will designed the space with plenty of room for employees to gather together, said Jamey Berg, one of the lead interior designers on the project. A unique aspect of the new space that invites employees to interact is the main conference room that has removable glass walls, allowing for a transition from private conference area to large meeting space.

“We wanted the opportunity to host events, whether they be industry-related, discussions or forums, or just families coming together,” said Jennifer Ho, director of human resources at Zipnosis. The company recently held its first family event, allowing employees and their relatives to gather. The versatility of the central conference room was something Zipnosis did not have at its former headquarters. Read more.

Healthcare’s “Three Amigos” and digital health adoption

Martin Short, Chevy Chase and Steve Martin are not the only three amigos.

During the keynote presentation at MedCity INVEST Twin Cities on October 12, Zipnosis cofounder and CEO Jon Pearce compared the characters from the 1986 film Three Amigos to three players in the healthcare space: the patient, the provider and the payer.

Satisfying all the parties is undeniably difficult, particularly when it comes to digital health adoption. What’s most important to a patient isn’t necessarily top of mind for a payer. And a provider may value a completely separate aspect of a technology or platform.

With these challenges in mind, Pearce urged attendees to think of the acronym SETS: Safety, Empathy, Trust and Success. Read more.

Telehealth, mHealth Studies Show the Value of Proper Preparation

 – A recent study found that a mobile health platform can cause an increase in office visits and a decrease in new business. Now telehealth advocates are saying that study could actually help the industry.

Conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Pennsylvania, the five-year study found that a health clinic’s telephone-based e-visit platform boosted office visits by 6 percent. This meant that providers spent more time with those patients in the office, and ultimately led to a 15 percent drop in new patients.

Telehealth advocates were quick to point out that a phone-and-e-mail-based service is just one kind of telehealth platform, and its advantages and disadvantages have been heavily debated for some time. They also say this study proves that providers need to plan carefully and integrate telehealth into the care delivery routine to make it work. Read more. 

Common Virtual Care Mistakes Every Health System Can Avoid

Healthcare is undergoing a sea change. The rise of healthcare consumerism, current and projected physician shortages, and the transition to value-based care are making necessary a shift in how care is delivered. Patients require greater convenience and transparent costs, providers need to be able to safely and effectively care for more patients, and health systems need to better manage populations as they take on greater risk.

To solve for these challenges, health systems are embracing virtual care and telemedicine technologies. But many health system leaders find themselves in new territory when evaluating virtual care solutions and launching the service. After nearly 10 years in the virtual care industry, I’ve seen how this situation can invite error and, over the years, have found these five mistakes are some of the most common. The good news — they’re avoidable. Read more.

Zipnosis Forming Advisory Council

Zipnosis, a virtual care company has formed the Clinical Quality Advisory Council (CQAC), a collection of healthcare leaders to provide clinical and strategic guidance to the virtual care industry. As healthcare delivery models shift to improve efficiency while maintaining high-quality standards of care it is important to ensure that clinical guidelines for virtual care are in place.

CQAC will perform reviews of Zipnosis current evidence-based clinical guidelines, support ongoing quality assurance efforts, and help establish best practices for clinical quality for outpatient virtual care. Read more. 

Telemedicine: Take a lesson from retail to improve patient adoption

The healthcare industry seems aligned in the belief that now really is the time for telemedicine to take hold in the provider-to-patient realm.

The past decade has seen advancements in technology, healthcare legislation, and consumer behavior that have set the stage for a new model in medical care. Hospitals and physicians have migrated to electronic medical records and created patient portals. Further, legislation at the national and state levels, while still a barrier, has evolved to provide better compensation for remote care. And finally, consumers have grown increasingly dependent on personal technology to make daily tasks faster and more convenient. As consumers grow more and more accustomed to speed and access, their expectations will extend to how they access healthcare. But to take full advantage of these trends, one must take a page out of the retail playbook. Read more.

Going beyond today’s telemedicine toward tomorrow’s virtual care

Understanding the definition of telemedicine

With the healthcare landscape continuously changing and moving to a value-based care model, healthcare providers are looking to new technologies that lower costs and increase clinical efficiency while providing high quality care and improving patient outcomes. This has sparked a conversation on what to call the “next generation healthcare tools.” Telemedicine continues to be thrown around in the discussion and is in ascendency within the industry, but it looks like that might be changing as more innovative technologies, such as virtual care, are coming to the forefront.

The term “telemedicine” made its debut back in the 1960s as a fusion of tele-matic modes of communication (phone and video) and medicine. Telemedicine is defined as the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by telecommunications technology. As with many terms, this definition is both broad and simplistic. Today, telemedicine refers not only to the model of care delivery, but also to the technology used to deliver care. Read more.

Comparing 11 top telehealth platforms: Company execs tout quality, safety, EHR integrations

We asked company leaders from American Well to Zipnosis to explain how their services work, and why they are seeing a surge in telehealth interest.
Zipnosis Platform

“We’ve had more telehealth visits during the last year than in the nine previous years combined,” said Katie Ruigh, senior vice president of product at telemedicine technology vendor American Well. “In terms of clients, we have about 70 health systems using our platform, and we had half that at the end of 2015.”

Currently, 31 percent of healthcare organizations use video-based telemedicine services and 34 percent offer remote patient monitoring, according to a KPMG survey conducted by HIMSS Analytics. Expansion plans for these services will drive future use with another 44 percent of healthcare organizations eyeing video-based telemedicine services and 48 percent planning for remote patient monitoring, the survey of 147 C-suite, IT and clinical leaders found.

“The business case for implementing a virtual care program is improving as healthcare evolves toward value-based care incentives from limited fee-for-service reimbursements,” said Richard Bakalar, MD, KPMG managing director and member of the firm’s Global Healthcare Center of Excellence. “It’s more efficient for high cost and limited clinical staff as well as other onsite resources, while making it more convenient and timely for patients to receive their care.”

In this guide, we gave executives from 11 telehealth company’s a chance to talk about what their products offer and how they are attempting to help healthcare providers gain a stronger expertise with their telehealth solutions. Read more.

Jon Pearce Answers The Digital Healthcare Revenue Question: Are You Blockbuster or Netflix?

When people ask me my Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) for Zipnosis, I reply: “To make the transactional cost of healthcare $0.00.” The looks I get range from quizzical to quizzical and concerned. After all, people are used to the current payment model and don’t see how Zipnosis will be able to stay in business without transactional revenue. Of course, this isn’t going to happen overnight – but the healthcare of the future is going to be paid for differently than it is today. Read more.

Federation of State Medical Boards names Zipnosis CMO to ethics committee: 3 points

The Federation of State Medical Boards appointed Zipnosis’ CMO Rebecca Hafner-Fogarty, MD, to its committee on ethics and professionalism.

Zipnosis, a virtual care company, focuses on providing healthcare stakeholders personalized digital healthcare solutions.

Here are three points:

Read more.

Top 10 Telemedicine Solutions by Hospital Site Implementations

– Driven by patient demand, improvements in technology, and the need to deliver healthcare outside the traditional hospital setting, health systems across the US are embracing telemedicine.

Some are launching platforms to connect patients to specialist care, either through consults or as part of a larger care management platform targeting those with chronic conditions. Still more are using the technology to improve hospital workflows, improve clinician-to-clinician collaboration and extend services to smaller, more remote hospitals and clinics. Read more.

The Secret to Sustainability in Direct-to-Consumer Telehealth

– Healthcare providers often launch a direct-to-consumer telehealth service in hopes of pulling in new patients. A new study now estimates how much business that platform might generate.

A health system launching a virtual care platform can expect to retain a quarter of the consumers it sees as patients, with an expected revenue of about $3,000 per patient in the 12 months following the virtual visit, according to an analysis by Carrot Health of health system using the Zipnosis virtual care platform. Read more.

Telehealth Looks to Digital Diagnostics to Improve Virtual Care

Telehealth providers are teaming up with digital diagnostic companies to extend point-of-care lab tests to virtual visits. The service improves the patient experience while giving providers another tool in their digital health toolbox. Read more.

Meet A Minnesota CFO: Eric Bosler, Zipnosis

The CFO: Eric Bosler, Zipnosis
When did you start your finance career and within the tech industry?
My first finance role after graduating from college in Denver was with Ernst & Young in 1993. My goal just was to get some public accounting and CPA out of the way but just one year into that I met some people working on SurVivaLink that was seed funded by Medtronic. Read more.

Transforming Care in the Digital Age

Zipnosis Chief Clinical Officer Kevin Smith’s most recent article for Health IT Outcomes discusses how virtual care can make an impact on care quality. Responding to a study published in JAMA Ophthalmology, he notes that virtual care can help more effectively capture patient-reported symptom information and ensure EHR records are accurate. Read more.

New Study Shows the True Impact of Virtual Care on Patient Acquisition and Return on Investment

MINNEAPOLIS, April 20, 2017 – Leading virtual care company Zipnosis today announced a recent study that illustrates the true downstream revenue impact of virtual care as a patient acquisition channel for health systems. The study was conducted by analytics company Carrot Health, utilizing data from a large health system client of Zipnosis.

The Challenges and Potential Payoff of Integrating Virtual Healthcare Services

Increasingly, healthcare consumers are interested in receiving care online, but providers remain slow to adopt. For successful implementations of virtual services, three areas need to be addressed, according to Zipnosis CEO Jon Pearce: operational workflows, change management, and communications (both internally and externally among the staff and patients). All three aspects must be solid for optimal patient experience—and that takes having a game plan. Read more.

Zipnosis Announces Claims Processing with Client MultiCare Health System and Integration Partner PokitDok at HIMSS17

MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — From the first company to connect the online virtual care experience with in-clinic lab services via their ZipTicket® technology over a year ago, Zipnosis® is today announcing new claims processing functionality with client partner MultiCare Health System (MultiCare) and integration partner PokitDok.

MultiCare developed a strategy to offer their powered-by-Zipnosis virtual care platform to employees and dependents as a covered benefit and wanted to make the claims process a seamless, behind-the-scenes event. “We determined that we needed to find a simple way to manage claims submissions for our virtual visits and Zipnosis provided the right solution,” said Christi McCarren, Senior Vice President of Retail Health and Community-Based Care for MultiCare.

The Vice President of Product and Engineering at Zipnosis concurred, “MultiCare gave us an excellent opportunity to expand the functionality of the Zipnosis platform. We thrive on finding solutions to support our clients, and our partnership with PokitDok made this one possible.”

Telemedicine Regulation: Then and Now

Zipnosis’ Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rebecca Hafner-Fogarty, goes back to the early days of telemedicine and follows the path of regulation. From the early days of rogue internet pharmacies, to the complex challenges of today’s regulatory environment, this post for the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center is a primer on the history and future of regulation for telemedicine and virtual care. Read more.

Zipnosis Moving Into New T3 Office Building

Zipnosis said on Tuesday that it signed a lease agreement to move into T3—the United States’ first tall-wood building located in the North Loop.

The Minneapolis-based telemedicine company will move into 16,000 square feet of office space, which is nearly double the amount it presently occupies just a few blocks away at 252 North First Avenue. The extra space will allow the company to continue its rapid growth: It had 30 employees when TCB profiled it earlier this year but now has a headcount of 42.

“As our business grows, so does the need for a space that will allow our team to support our clients and one in which our culture can flourish,” CEO Jon Pearce said in a statement. “The move to the T3 building will enhance the day-to-day work experience for our team.”

Virtual Care Helps Ease Bottlenecks And Spread Of Disease During Flu Season

Telemedicine is not just for diagnosis and chronic care, but also population health management.

As healthcare costs spike and greater emphasis is placed on reducing costs, improving outcomes, and creating greater efficiency, telemedicine is stepping into the spotlight as a way to diagnose simple conditions, track and provide chronic care, provide behavioral and mental health treatment, and even help with population health management.

But telemedicine also has the power to help contain epidemics by diagnosing and treating flu and other contagious diseases via virtual visits, therefore reducing the contact infected individuals have with others.

Using Telehealth, mHealth to Fight the Flu

Leading health systems across the country are recognizing the value of using virtual care to curb the spread of influenza. By enabling providers to diagnose and treat patients online, virtual care can help keep contagious patients at home rather than forcing them to visit a busy doctor’s office.

Dr. Dan Tran of Fairview Health Services notes that, “Virtual care is a great ‘relief valve’ to ensure all who need care receive it promptly, especially during cold and flu season.”

Read more on how Zipnosis is leading the way in leveraging virtual care to mitigate the impacts of cold and flu season on health systems, and check out the full article on

Solving the Patient Engagement Puzzle with Virtual Care

Patient engagement is becoming increasingly important, and virtual care offers health systems a solution to meet patient needs while fitting healthcare into their lives. Kevin Smith, Zipnosis’ Chief Clinical Officer and innovative healthcare pioneer, discusses how virtual care can help health systems better engage with patients to boos patient retention and minimize patient leakage.

Beyond telemedicine: When was the last time you placed an order by phone or video?

Value-based care is driving the evolution from traditional telemedicine models to virtual healthcare

Say the word telemedicine, and most people think of patient encounters that start with live, direct-to-video or phone visits between patient and provider. However, with value-based care driving new reimbursement models, quality, efficiency and cost are more important than ever. As a result, the market is rapidly moving away from traditional telemedicine and embracing virtual healthcare—a more modern, innovative approach that connects the online experience with the brick-and-mortar and benefits health systems, providers and patients.

The digital delivery of modern virtual healthcare, done correctly, uses structured data in the form of online, adaptive interviews to guide patients through their healthcare encounters. Providers, following evidence-based pathways, leverage this structured data to create an online diagnosis and treatment plan with high rates of clinical guideline adherence. While these encounters always include online, adaptive interviews as their foundation, they allow for appropriate escalation of care, including supplemental photos, videos and/or phone calls (ONLY when needed)—and/or referrals for in-person care.

Industry-Leading Virtual Health Company Zipnosis to Play Key Role in First-Ever House Medical Technology Caucus Telemedicine Congressional Roundtable

When virtual care—the modern version of telemedicine—is delivered properly, it holds enormous potential as a critical component in the healthcare model of the future. Lawmakers who guide policy related to healthcare access and coverage are recognizing that potential, and they want to know more. The first ever telemedicine congressional roundtable, Tuesday, September 20, is their opportunity.

The inaugural telemedicine roundtable, Defining Telemedicine in the 21st Century, will feature sessions presented by Zipnosis thought leaders and association and health system executives.

Zipnosis embarks on virtual care collaboration for chronic disease intervention

In a nod to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s estimation that 8.1 million people have diabetes but are undiagnosed, Zipnosis has set up a care coordination service with Fairview Health Services to prevent chronic conditions including diabetes,according to a news release. The virtual care platform is intended to make it possible to do a remote diagnosis of chronic conditions and speed up interventions by doctors. The collaboration fits in with plans Zipnosis CEO Jon Pearce shared with MedCity News earlier this year when the digital health company closed a $17 million Series A round.

A Minnesota health system is using a telehealth platform to connect with consumers and assess their chances of developing diabetes or heart disease.

Fairview Health Services recently launched a new digital tool to help identify people at risk of diabetes or heart disease. The online health risk assessments are currently available to select members of its 22,000-plus employee workforce, and Fairview plans to expand the program to its patients and all Minnesota residents.

Using an asynchronous platform developed by Zipnosis, Fairview will offer an online adaptive questionnaire, accessible on iOS and Android devices, that calculates the patient’s risk of developing diabetes or heart disease. If needed, the patient is issued a ZipTicket boarding pass, or an instant referral to a nearby lab for diagnostic tests.

Within 48 hours after the labs are taken, a Fairview provider will review the questionnaire and tests and issue a recommendation via e-mail, along with links to educational resources. The patient can then schedule an appointment with his or her primary care provider, if necessary.

The mHealth tool could also help healthcare providers reach under-served populations who don’t have insurance or visit a doctor on a regular basis.

Memorial Health Care Systems, Bryan Health collaborate on virtual care platform

Nebraska-based Bryan Health and Memorial Health Care Systems launched Memorial eVisit to offer telemedicine services for patients in Seward County. The virtual care platform uses software created by Minneapolis-based Zipnosis.

Latest Virtual Care Partnership Designed to Help Rural Nebraska Patients

Bryan Health and Memorial Health Care Systems have teamed up to launch Memorial eVisit, the first virtual care offering by a Nebraska rural critical access hospital.

The online solution, we’re told, gives community members of rural Seward County, NE a new, affordable way to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan from a board certified Nebraska doctor 24/7.

Virtual Care Partnership Gives Rural Nebraska Patients Access to Convenient, Safe, Affordable Online Treatment for Common Health Conditions

Bryan Health and Memorial Health Care Systems (MHCS) announce the launch of Memorial eVisit, the first virtual care offering by a Nebraska rural critical access hospital.

The online solution gives community members of rural Seward County, Neb. a new, affordable way to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan from a board certified Nebraska doctor at any time, 24/7. Memorial eVisit, is supported by Bryan Telemedicine, and uses virtual care software from industry leader Zipnosis. The arrangement takes advantage of the virtual care expertise of Bryan Telemedicine and their Nebraska board certified physicians. Bryan Telemedicine physicians will staff the new service, reviewing patient information and making an appropriate diagnosis.

Zipnosis Uses Virtual Care Technology to Boost Provider Efficiency

Zipnosis was featured in TechTarget’s SearchHealthIT Innovation Spotlight for offering a white labeled virtual care platform that boosts provider efficiency. In addition to provider benefits, the platform can help reduce patient wait times and can eliminate the need for emergency room or urgent care visits.

Store-and-Forward Has its Fans And its Critics

A proposed bill in Arkansas outlines definitions for telemedicine, including “store and forward technology,” and would restrict the type of virtual care telemedicine health systems can employ. Zipnosis’ Jon Pearce and Kevin Smith weigh in on the discussions about store and forward – or asynchronous – telemedicine.

Zipnosis Named a Best Place to Work

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal named Zipnosis one of the 65 best places to work in the Twin Cities.

MINNEAPOLISJune 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Zipnosis, the first virtual care company empowering health systems to launch virtual care service lines staffed by their own clinicians, was named one of Minnesota’s 2016 Best Places to Work by The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

Honorees were selected based on anonymous surveys administered to employees of companies throughout Minnesota. Employees rated their employers on communication efforts, leadership and more. Zipnosis was honored in the small business category, representing companies with 25 to 49 Minnesota employees. Read more.

Zipnosis Calls AMA Telemedicine Guidelines a Step in the Right Direction

Zipnosis applauds recent moves by the American Medical Association (AMA) to support the delivery of high-quality telemedicine as the industry continues to grow.

Flawed Telemedicine Studies Prompt a Call to Action

Zipnosis CEO Jon Pearce discusses the challenges of effectively measuring quality in telemedicine and ways to increase visibility into clinical quality.

Web-Based Diagnosis and Treatment Service Provides Lakewood Health System Patients 24/7 Virtual Care

Lakewood Health System is making it more convenient for patients to receive care for common health conditions by partnering with Zipnosis to launch of Click Care – an online diagnosis and treatment service that virtually connects patients with Lakewood clinicians.

Zipnosis Named an IDC Innovator in US Virtual Care

Zipnosis was one of four companies recognized in the recent report – IDC Innovators: U.S. Virtual Care Solutions, 2016 (doc# US41117616, May 2016). IDC Innovators are defined as companies with under $50 million in revenue that offer “an inventive technology and/or groundbreaking new business model.”

IDC Innovators for the 2016 U.S. Virtual Care Solutions Market

International Data Corporation (IDC) has published its 2016 IDC Innovators report recognizing pioneering players in the U.S. virtual care solutions market. Zipnosis, along with three other virtual care providers, was named an IDC Innovator in the U.S. virtual care solutions market for 2016.

Study: Virtual Care Outperforms Video/Phone-Based Telemedicine

Recent data from more than 1,700 virtual care encounters at two large U.S. health systems demonstrates that the use of an evidence-based, best practices-driven virtual health platform can overcome major issues with the consistent delivery of guideline-adherent care that were identified in a recent, widely referenced study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Are virtual visits consistent and effective? JAMA-published study raises doubts.

A recent study published in the May edition of JAMA Internal Medicine found significant variation in quality among traditional telemedicine companies that rely primarily on live video- and phone-based encounters.

Telemedicine Effectiveness Questioned by Study

A much-referenced study in the May edition of JAMA Internal Medicine, Variation in Quality of Urgent Health Care Provided During Virtual Visits, questions the effectiveness of telemedicine, especially the synchronous (live) variety of telemedicine found in video and phone consults. However, Zipnosis has provided adherence statistics that demonstrate, unlike with live video or phone-based virtual care encounters, “The use of an evidence-based, best practices-driven virtual health platform can overcome major issues with the consistent delivery of guideline-adherent care” that were identified in the JAMA study.

Lawmakers Looking Into Virtual Health Care Regulations – Visit Zipnosis

Getting the benefits of a doctor’s visit all without leaving home. Some Minnesota companies are paving the way to ramp-up virtual health care. Lawmakers are looking into whether our state is ready to handle what could be the future of health care.

MultiCare Health System Launches New Virtual Care Service

MultiCare Virtual Care

SEATTLE, WA (1/07/16) – Patients not feeling well who want quick and easy access to a health care provider now have a new option in Washington state. MultiCare eCare is a simple online diagnosis and treatment service for common health conditions. MultiCare eCare connects patients to clinicians via email or text at an inexpensive flat fee, making health care more affordable and accessible to anyone with a web-enabled device.

Patients using MultiCare eCare receive prompt virtual care for common medical conditions such as sinus infections, female bladder infections, pink eye, or cold, cough and flu—all for a set fee of $25 payable by a credit, debit or health savings card.

Patients start a virtual MultiCare eCare visit by completing an online adaptive interview. Using the latest evidence-based medical guidelines, interviews typically take less than five minutes to complete. The patient’s symptoms are instantly sent to a MultiCare Health System board-certified clinician for review and diagnosis, which are completed in less than an hour during business hours. When the diagnosis and treatment are ready, the patient receives a text or email. If a prescription is appropriate, MultiCare eCare allows the patient to instantly send the prescription to the pharmacy of their choice.

The platform for MultiCare eCare was developed by Zipnosis, which partners with health care systems to offer patients virtual access to quality care, while reducing the time required to safely diagnose, treat or triage minor medical conditions.

“MultiCare is committed to providing access to health care services in ways that are convenient and easy for patients,” said Christi McCarren, Vice President, Retail Health, Post Acute Care and Service Lines. “The Zipnosis platform allows us to use technology to meet consumers where they are – whether it’s at home, at the office or on the soccer field – and offer quick help for health needs.”

Designed on the premise of quality care above all else, Zipnosis improves patient care one click at a time while dramatically improving clinician efficiency.

“Our partnership with MultiCare is exciting,” said Jon Pearce, CEO and co-founder of Zipnosis. “It is gratifying to see health systems like MultiCare take a strategic leap to launch a virtual care service and reap the benefits for patients and providers alike. MultiCare has positioned itself as a market leader and in the process is empowering their patients and clinicians.”

About MultiCare Health System

MultiCare Health System is a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 10,000 employees and a comprehensive network including Allenmore Hospital, Auburn Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, Tacoma General Hospital, MultiCare Medical Associates, affiliated physicians, as well as numerous primary care, specialty and urgent care clinics and community outreach services.

MultiCare’s heritage dates back to the founding of Tacoma’s first hospital in 1882. Since then, the organization has grown to meet the ever-changing needs of our region-always focusing on excellence, innovation and patient care.

MultiCare’s patients are connected to the most advanced care available and the organization has been recognized both locally and nationally for the care we provide, our commitment to patients, our investment in technology and our involvement in our community.


Zipnosis provides health systems with a white-labeled, fully integrated virtual care platform. Using our powerful, tech-enabled treatment and triage tools, our clients can offer ultra-convenient access to care while dramatically improving clinician efficiency. Patients may be treated for more than 90 conditions using our pioneering adaptive interview, triaged directly into a phone or video encounter, or directed to visit a clinic for faster service using our ZipTicket® boarding pass. Based in Minnesota, Zipnosis has more than 7 years of expertise and data to help our partners rapidly launch and scale a market-leading virtual care solution. For more information, visit

For MultiCare Health System

Marce Edwards


For Zipnosis

Laura Telander Graf


Zipnosis Announces $17 Million Series A Financing Led By Safeguard Scientifics

MINNEAPOLIS and RADNOR, Pa. and CLAYTON, Mo., Jan. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Zipnosis has raised a $17 million Series A financing round led by Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE) with participation from Ascension Ventures, a subsidiary of Ascension, the nation’s largest non-profit and Catholic health system; along with existing investors Fairview Health Services, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Arthur Ventures, Waterline Ventures and Omphalos Ventures. Proceeds will be used to expand Zipnosis’ sales and marketing efforts and to accelerate product development.

Zipnosis is the first virtual care solution that empowers health systems to launch their own branded virtual care service line staffed with their own clinicians — maximizing the clinician’s time and ensuring clinically appropriate patient outcomes. Zipnosis guides health systems through clinical, marketing, compliance and operations workflows, and guarantees launch of their virtual care programs in just 60 days. Zipnosis’ white-labeled software integrates with a health system’s electronic medical record and patient portal, and allows health systems to serve both existing and new patients.

Zipnosis’ asynchronous platform mimics an in-person interaction between clinician and patient, gathering the necessary information for diagnosis and providing clinicians with appropriate treatment options. For patients, the user experience is seamless. The patient simply logs into the health system’s branded virtual care site and completes a short, dynamic online interview that gathers information about the patient’s condition. Then, behind the scenes, Zipnosis’ algorithm of triage tools sends the interview to the appropriate clinician within the health system for diagnosis and treatment. The clinician is presented with structured information that facilitates a diagnosis and treatment decision in about two minutes, delivering the most efficient virtual care encounter on the market. The clinician can triage the patient with a phone or video visit for more information, if necessary. When appropriate, the clinician can e-prescribe medication to be sent to the patient’s pharmacy of choice. The patient is guaranteed a response in under an hour.

Currently, Zipnosis offers virtual care for more than 90 conditions and is expanding into chronic care conditions. In addition, Zipnosis currently works with approximately 17 health system customers including Fairview Health Services, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Group Health, and John Muir Health.

“Our platform is designed to enable health systems to expand access to immediate care using their own clinicians,” said Jon Pearce, co-founder and CEO of Zipnosis. “With Zipnosis, health systems have a unique opportunity to care for more patients under their own brand name and without adding staff.  Patients are happier to be ‘seen’ sooner without having to step foot outside their home or go to a waiting room. We are grateful to Safeguard Scientifics, Ascension Ventures and our existing seed investors for their confidence in our team and technology, and for their support that will enable us to expand the innovative access we provide to mainstream medicine through our partnerships with health systems around the U.S.”

“Zipnosis offers health systems an incredible opportunity to retain existing patients and acquire new ones,” said Al Wiegman, Managing Director, Healthcare at Safeguard, who will join Zipnosis’ Board of Directors. “Virtual visits are an increasingly popular way for clinicians to diagnose and treat patients without requiring an in-person visit, and have the potential to produce better patient outcomes through more rigorous clinical protocols. We’re excited to partner with the Zipnosis team and support its disruptive platform as it works to expand affordable access to care.”

“Zipnosis has illustrated it is a true partner to healthcare systems by creating a virtual care platform that fits the needs of the patient as well as the provider,” said Helen Ciesielski, Investment Associate, Ascension Ventures. “Its vision of the future of telemedicine, which includes the development of innovative products like ZipTicket® — the equivalent of an electronic boarding pass that give patients front-of-the-line access at their clinic — as well as its ability to integrate into a health system’s current processes and IT systems to ensure continuity of care, goes beyond any other product in the marketplace.”

About Zipnosis

Zipnosis provides health systems with a white-labeled, fully integrated virtual care platform. Using our powerful, tech-enabled treatment and triage tools, our clients can offer ultra-convenient access to care while dramatically improving clinician efficiency. Patients may be treated for more than 90 conditions using our pioneering adaptive interview, triaged directly into a phone or video encounter, or directed to visit a clinic for faster service using our ZipTicket®boarding pass. Based in Minnesota, Zipnosis has more than 7 years of experience and data to help our partners rapidly launch and scale a market-leading virtual care solution. For more information, visit our website.

About Safeguard Scientifics

Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE) has a distinguished track record of fostering innovation and building market leaders. For six decades, Safeguard has been providing growth capital and operational support to entrepreneurs across an evolving spectrum of industries. Today, Safeguard is focused specifically on two sectors—healthcare and technology. Specifically, Safeguard targets early- and growth-stage companies in advertising technology, digital media, financial technology, enterprise software, Internet of Things, devices, diagnostics, digital health and healthcare IT. For more information about Safeguard, visit their website or follow them on Twitter.

About Ascension Ventures

Ascension Ventures, launched in 2001, is a subsidiary of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and non-profit health system. Ascension Ventures’ role is to construct and manage a strategic portfolio of investments that deliver venture-level investment returns, have the potential to transform the healthcare industry and significantly enhance the experience for patients, their families and their caregivers. Ascension Ventures has three venture funds with $550 million in committed capital under management. Its limited partners include Ascension, Catholic Health Initiatives, Decatur Memorial Hospital, Dignity Health, Intermountain Healthcare, Mercy and Trinity Health.

Forward-looking Statements

Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements contained in this release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Our forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. The risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially include, among others, our ability to make good decisions about the deployment of capital, the fact that our partner companies may vary from period to period, our substantial capital requirements and absence of liquidity from our partner company holdings, fluctuations in the market prices of our publicly traded partner company holdings, competition, our inability to obtain maximum value for our partner company holdings, our ability to attract and retain qualified employees, market valuations in sectors in which our partner companies operate, our inability to control our partner companies, our need to manage our assets to avoid registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, and risks associated with our partner companies, including the fact that most of our partner companies have a limited history and a history of operating losses, face intense competition and may never be profitable, the effect of economic conditions in the business sectors in which Safeguard’s partner companies operate, and other uncertainties described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Many of these factors are beyond the Company’s ability to predict or control. As a result of these and other factors, the Company’s past financial performance should not be relied on as an indication of future performance. The Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements or other information contained in this press release.

For Zipnosis
Laura Telander Graf
(651) 698-4006

For Safeguard Scientifics
Heather Hunter
(610) 975-4923

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