Fairview Health invests in Zipnosis for asynchronous telemedicine

By Jonah Comstock
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ZipnosisMinneapolis, Minnesota-based telemedicine company Zipnosis has received a "significant" strategic investment from Fairview Health, the hospital system the company has been working with the past several years. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

"It’s not only a really good runway for us, but it also gives us a partner who’s got national connections through a variety of networks," CEO John Pearce told MobiHealthNews. "So they can really help us add some credibility to what we’re doing and the ways that we’re doing it, which is different than most of those other telemedicine providers."

Zipnosis views telemedicine not as a technology offering but as a service offering, and they pride themselves on being adaptable to different contexts, whether it's retail clinics, traditional health systems, ACOs, or employer-based offerings. Zipnosis doesn’t do synchronous visits by video or phone, but instead relies on software interactions to treat simple ailments like bronchitis or pink eye, which allows patients to resort to an office visit only when it's really needed.

"It’s asynchronous, kind of an adaptive interview that really efficiently collects the history from the patient and then that makes it a lot more convenient for the patient," Pearce said. "So our adoption is generally higher than telemedicine companies right out of the gate, and it also drives clinician efficiency on the back end." 

Fairview Health will join Zipnosis' board and the investment will allow the company to focus on scale, hiring, and developing their next generation of product, a launch the company has planned for early this year.

"There’s some development, but a lot of it is around marketing, building our sales team and building awareness of what we’re doing," Pearce said. "We’re going to quadruple in size this year and we’ve got a really long runway. The idea was to take financing risk and needs off the table and let us focus on execution and really developing ourselves as a market. It puts us in a really good position financially, and for us it’s how fast can we scale and enroll at this point."

Over the last year, Zipnosis has gone from one customer, Fairview, to about ten, Pearce said. Their team is about the same size -- they just hired their 11th employee. He hopes that Fairview will lend them higher visibility and more credibility, as well as continuing to serve as a test bed for new products.

"Really it’s around how we continue to launch new services and have them be a showcase partner for how virtual care can be launched more broadly in sort of an integrated delivery network," he said, "both on the ACO side and with employers, and as we move into new specialties and new areas of care."