New Physician Intel: Allergy Season Is On The Upswing

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Combined Epocrates and athenahealth Data Reveals Midwest and Northeast are Late Bloomers

WATERTOWN, MA - May 16, 2013 – Seasonal allergies are still on the rise this year, according to new data compiled from Epocrates and athenahealth. Allergy Season 2013 has yet to reach a peak, whereas by this time last year, the number of patients across the country seeking medical treatment for allergies was starting to decline.

“The worst may still be coming for allergy sufferers, particularly in the Northeast and the Midwest,” said Dr. Anne Meneghetti, director of clinical communications for Epocrates. “This prediction is based on aggregated data compiled from drug lookup and patient visits related to allergic rhinitis. It’s an unprecedented, holistic view of physicians’ research and treatment of a condition that
impacts so many Americans.”

Other 2013 allergy findings include:

  •     West and South hit early, but not in the clear – In 2013, allergy visits and lookups were up 20 percent in the western United States compared to this time last year. The South was hit particularly hard this February.
  •     Midwest and Northeast are late bloomers – Lookups and visits in these regions were down 20 percent compared to last year, but there has been a significant rise over the past month and the traditional peak has not yet occurred.
  •     Allergies are driving more Americans to see medical professionals – Eight percent of all visits to medical professionals using athenahealth systems in April were for allergic rhinitis.
  •     Allergy treatments are within reach – Medical professionals are increasingly reviewing allergy drug options and checking for potential drug-on-drug interactions on their mobile devices. There have been more than 500,000 allergy drug lookups to date in 2013 - a 42 percent increase in lookups from this past winter.
  •     The nose is the problem and the solution – While many people complain about runny noses from allergies, it is also the preferred treatment delivery method. More than 50 percent of all allergy prescriptions are for nasal sprays.

athenahealth’s acquisition of Epocrates brought together two unique data sources that have the power to evaluate and trend public health topics. Together, the companies can examine aggregate drug lookup patterns from the more than 50 percent of U.S. physicians that use the Epocrates application and map lookups to the activities conducted by athenahealth healthcare professionals in its EHR and practice management services. The analyzed data from 2012 and 2013 essentially follows physician protocols from looking up clinical information to examining patients to prescribing treatments.

If you are interested in covering these allergy trends, or discussing the way in which combined Epocrates and athenahealth data generates new intel, please contact or call 781-684-0770.

About Epocrates, Inc.
Epocrates, Inc., an athenahealth company, is recognized for developing the #1 medical application among U.S. physicians for clinical content, practice tools, and health industry engagement at the point of care. Epocrates has established a loyal network of more than one million health care professionals, including 50 percent of U.S. physicians, who routinely use its intuitive solutions to help streamline workflow and improve patient care. For more information, please visit

About athenahealth, Inc.
athenahealth is a leading provider of cloud-based services for EHR, practice management, and care coordination. athenahealth’s mission is to be caregivers’ most trusted service, helping them do well doing the right thing. For more information, please visit

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