Athenahealth acquires Epocrates for $293 million

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Electronic health record vendor athenahealth, which specializes in cloud-based solutions for medical providers, today announced the acquisition of San Mateo, Calif.-based mobile medical app provider Epocrates for $293 million. The deal gives the Watertown, Mass.-based EHR vendor a foothold in the mobile health industry, something CEO Jonathan Bush has been eyeing for quite some time.

"I have been an admirer of Epocrates since it first emerged and have watched the company grow consistently, one app download at a time, as it has cemented itself into the consciousness of America's physicians," Bush said in a statement. "We are confident that we can provide Epocrates with the stewardship and resources it needs to grow and develop within healthcare, and that Epocrates' capabilities are going to mesh exceptionally well with athenahealth's cloud-based physician and patient services."

Additionally, Bush told Bloomberg News in an interview that he saw Epocrates as the "Angry Birds" of healthcare IT. "Our biggest obstacle is that 70 percent of doctors don't even know [athenahealth] exists," Bush said.

Athenahealth will pay $11.75 per share for Epocrates, which is a 22 percent premium of the latter company's per-share value as of last Friday. The Epocrates app, which provides drug information to doctors on the go, was used by 338,000 physicians in the U.S. as of August, according to Bloomberg.

Epocrates tried to enter the EHR market in summer 2011, but reports last spring indicated that the company wasn't satisfied with the results from those efforts.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement
- read the Bloomberg article

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