January 24th, 2013 by David E. Williams of the Health business blog
Earlier this month athenahealth announced its intention to purchase Epocrates for about $300 million. The deal is being touted as a way for athena –which sells cloud-based billing and EHR services– to boost its awareness among physicians, over 300,000 of whom use the free Epocrates mobile app. Historically, Epocrates has monetized its users by selling advertising to pharmaceutical companies. That market is in decline, and athenahealth is the white knight riding in with a new business plan.
In this podcast interview, athenahealth SVP and Chief Marketing Officer Rob Cosinuke explains the rationale behind the deal and lays out athena’s three-phase plan for integration:
- “Sidle up” to the Epocrates brand for awareness, bask in the brand’s “love halo,” and generate leads for athenahealth offerings
- Invest in the core Epocrates app and expand its utility so physicians will love it even more
- Integrate Epocrates and athenahealth functionality to generate transactions on athenahealth’s national health information backbone