Post-Epocrates AthenaHealth inks deal with Aetna's iTriage

By Brian Dolan

iTriageCloud-based EHR and practice management vendor AthenaHealth inked a deal with Aetna's mobile health group iTriage to include Athena's network of providers into iTriage's symptom navigator, provider locator, and appointment booking app. The partnership is particularly notable because Athena recently completed the acquisition of major medical app developer Epocrates, which counted hundreds of thousands of physicians as users.

AthenaHealth is offering the integration with iTriage as an additional service for those providers who use its patient engagement offering, the AthenaCommunicator. The companies said the goal of the partnership was to connect Athena's growing network of 40,000 health care providers with iTriage's more than 8 million consumers.

“iTriage is a powerful tool for both patients and providers. It connects patients in need with caregivers who can treat their ailments quickly and effectively,” Jonathan Bush, CEO and Chairman, AthenaHealth stated.

Those healthcare providers who are customers of AthenaCommunicator and who wish to add iTriage to their bundle, will be able to link their schedules to the app so prospective patients looking to book an appointment are able to do so through the app.

Last year MobiHealthNews reported on an Athena executive's remarks about how he wished AthenaHealth had been the company that acquired iTriage instead of Aetna.

“First off, hats off to Aetna, they clearly are a fast-moving player, because they beat me to the punch,” AthenaHealth’s VP of corporate development Karl Zachar said at the Health 2.0's Boston event last May. At that same event Bush made comments that led MobiHealthNews to speculate AthenaHealth might acquire Epocrates, a prediction that, of course, came to fruition earlier this year.

As AthenaHealth works to carefully convince the provider users of its Epocrates apps to become customers of its health IT offerings, this deal with iTriage will help to bolster its patient engagement offerings. While the partnership appears limited to a small slice of AthenHealth customers, it may lead to the equivalent of a partnership between one of the most popular consumer-facing mobile health apps, iTriage, and one of the most popular provider-facing medical apps, Epocrates.