Epic Seeks to Join Alexa, Siri as Software You Can Chat With

Xconomy

Wisconsin — 

Epic Systems may soon add its name to the list of companies with virtual assistant software that people can give instructions to and get information from. But those who say, ‘Hey Epic’ to initiate a man-to-machine conversation won’t be your average consumers. Instead, they’ll be doctors, nurses, and others who use the Verona, WI-based company’s healthcare software to do their jobs.

Epic is holding its annual Users Group Meeting this week, a conference that brings 9,000 employees from hospitals and clinics that use Epic’s patient records software to its corporate campus, according to company estimates. On Tuesday, following founder and CEO Judy Faulkner’s opening address, a handful of leaders at Epic showed off new features and integrations the company has in the works. Some of these new tools are already built into the soon-to-be-released 2018 version of Epic’s software, while others are a bit further out on the horizon.

The conference has a “World of Wizards” theme this year. In keeping with that theme, one demonstration involved a fictional patient, Angus Pyramus, who visits a doctor after transforming himself into a mule. The doctor, who was played by real-life physician and Epic employee Chris Mast, used a prototype of Epic’s virtual assistant to treat Pyramus.

“Hey Epic, open my note for Mr. Pyramus using the transformation reversal template,” Mast said.

The large screens above the stage displayed how Epic’s software translates directions into system actions. For instance, it documented Mast’s assessment of the patient (“arrested transformation”), as well as the doctor’s instructions for Pyramus to treat the condition and return for another visit in a week. After each verbal command—opening a note, documenting physical findings, and entering orders into the system—the device running Epic’s software…

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