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athenahealth, Epocrates deal signals new push for mobile tools

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athenahealth's $293 million bid to acquire mobile-health pioneer Epocrates signals a new push to develop mobile tools for physicians, the companies report.

athenahealth’s $293 million bid to acquire mobile-health pioneer Epocrates signals a new push to develop mobile tools for physicians, the companies report.

Although the transaction’s closing is subject to approval by Epocrates shareholders, it is expected early in the second quarter of 2013. The Watertown, Massachusetts-based athenahealth offers online practice management, electronic health records, and patient communications to 38,000 providers, whereas San Mateo, California-based Epocrates is reportedly used by more than 330,000 physicians.

“No other company has been able to replicate the brand awareness, familiarity, and trust that Epocrates has across the clinical mobile user base,” says Jonathan Bush, president, chairman, and chief executive officer of athenahealth in a prepared statement.  “Together, we’re excited by the opportunity to redefine the mobile toolset for caregivers.”

The combined company will seek to “pioneer new mobile workflows to improve provider efficiency and support care delivery outcomes.”  Its initial effort will focus on care coordination, provider-to-provider communication, and patient engagement tools.

Piper Jaffray & Co. acted as exclusive financial adviser to Epocrates in connection with the transaction. Goodwin Procter LLP served as athenahealth’s legal counsel, and Cooley LLP served as counsel to Epocrates.

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