MultiCare Health System is furthering its investment in virtual care with the launch of a new online diagnosis and treatment service for common health conditions.

The Tacoma health system partnered with Minneapolis-based Zipnosis to develop the MultiCare eCare platform, which will connect patients to clinicians via email or text. A flat fee of $25 will cover care for minor maladies such as sinus infections, female bladder infections, pinkeye, cold, cough and flu.

Virtual visits will start with an online adaptive interview that typically takes less than five minutes; symptom information collected from that interview would then be sent to a clinician for review and diagnosis, a process that, according to a release from MultiCare, would be 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, the patient would then be able to send it to the pharmacy of their choice.

“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.”

“MultiCare is committed to providing access to health care services in ways that are convenient and easy for patients,” said Christi McCarren, MultiCare’s vice president of 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.”