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Analytics & Research

athenaResearch Weekly Flu Report: Providers Prescribing Antivirals at Higher Rate

Iyue Sung, Director of athenaResearchEarlier this week, we reported on the current rates of influenza-like illness (ILI), based on data from roughly one million patient visits on the athenahealth network. That report showed a steep increase in ILI rates for the week ending Saturday, December 13 (see previous post). It’s not certain that this season will be as severe as that of 2012-2013 (data for pediatrics suggests that is a real possibility); however, providers are testing for flu more consistently than previous years, and prescribing antivirals more often.

Our data shows that the number of flu tests ordered, per patient visit in … Read more

Disruptive Technology

What Can Hackers Tell Us About Health Care Disruption in 2015?

Last month, athenahealth hosted a group of more than 80 engineers, entrepreneurs, physicians, designers, developers and scientists from the greater Boston area to the 3rd annual More Disruption Please (MDP) Hackathon. The goal: gather like-minded individuals to help solve health care’s biggest problems.

So, how did these forward thinkers do? Not only did they make huge strides toward the intended goal, but their innovative ideas give us an important look at where health care is headed in 2015. (Note: Not familiar with hackathons? Read all about them in this report from Andrea Ippolito, PhD student in the Engineering Read more

Analytics & Research

athenaResearch Weekly Flu Report: Pediatric Rates Surpass Last Season’s High

Iyue Sung, Director of athenaResearchOver the past two weeks, the athenaResearch team noted an uptick in national influenza-like illness (ILI) rates within the athenahealth cloud-based network. However, for the week ending this past Saturday, December 13, the increase in flu diagnosis has accelerated further. Based on our data from roughly one million patient visits to more than 20,000 primary care providers and 2,500 pediatricians, ILI rates are currently tracking at levels similar to 2012-2013, which was a particularly severe flu season. More alarming is a steep increase in pediatric rates, as shown in Figure 1.

These levels are driven by surges in the South … Read more


mHealth: Finding our MagicBand

Hannah Galvin, MD, Senior Manager, Clinical ContentIf you’ve been to Walt Disney World in the past year (or you know someone who has), you’ve probably heard about the Bands. In 2013, Disney debuted its $1 billion MyMagic+ experience, a comprehensive experiment in wearable technology, data collection, user experience, and crowd control.

This time last year, about a week before my trip, I received my personalized waterproof, radio frequency identification (RFID) ticketing bracelet called Disney MagicBand. As a self-professed Gadget Geek, I was almost as excited about the technology as I was about heading to Space Mountain. My wristband acted as my hotel room key, my Park … Read more

Analytics & Research

athenaResearch Weekly Flu Report: Rates Continuing to Climb

Iyue Sung, Director of athenaResearchInfluenza-like illness (ILI) rates continue to climb, according to the most recent patient visit data from the athenahealth cloud-based network, containing more than 55 million patient records. This finding is consistent with the latest reports from our friends at Healthmap and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In a related note, the CDC also issued a health advisory last week that one strain of the flu virus (H3N2) has mutated, which decreases the effectiveness of the flu vaccine.

Figure 1 shows a few interesting patterns. On a national level, ILI rates have been climbing for several weeks. But … Read more

Rocket Fuel