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Carena’s Virtual Clinics support virtual doctors appointments. (Carena Photo)

When you have the flu or a child with an earache, just getting into a doctor’s office can be an incredible hassle. But with the right technology, virtual doctor’s’ visits can deal with many of these minor health issues.

Carena, a telemedicine startup based in Seattle, is developing technology that can make those virtual appointments a reality. The company recently closed a $6 million round of funding, bringing the company’s total funding to more than $30 million.

The company confirmed the funding to GeekWire but declined to comment further.

Carena designs and operates telemedicine services for health care providers — in other words, it offers the tech that runs virtual doctor’s appointments.

Carena’s Virtual Clinics platform lets doctors or nurse practitioners speak with patients over a video call and diagnose minor illnesses like the flu or an ear infection. They can also recommend patients make an in-person appointment if the issue is more serious.

Carena was founded in 2000  and has been led by CEO Ralph Derrickson since he joined the company in 2006. He was formerly the VP of product development at Starwave and director of computer engineering at NeXT Computer.

The company’s past backers include Portland-based Cambia Health Solutions, a health community group and insurer; Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives, a nonprofit care provider; San Francisco-based McKessen Ventures and Nashville-based Martin Ventures.

Carena’s board includes F5 founder Jeff Hussey along with executives from Catholic Health Initiatives, Cambia Health Solutions and Martin Ventures.

A company spokesperson said Carena now works with over 120 hospitals across the country and its virtual care services are available for 18 million people.

Telemedicine is attractive to many patients and care providers because it can greatly lower healthcare costs and increase access to care. Carena faces competition from dozens of telehealth providers across the country.

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