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Stories & Snapshots

ICYMI: April Fools’ Articles

Swipe to Good Health with Epic TinDr
Doctors rarely have the chance to choose which patients they treat, but now they can match with a patient with just a swipe of the thumb. TinDr, Epic’s newest mobile application, allows both physicians and patients to view photos and read quick bios about one another. They can swipe right to match, or swipe left to keep looking. If both parties swipe right, the patient and doctor can start chatting and set up an appointment.

Epic piloted the application in Verona, Wisconsin, where it processed over 3,000 matches in the first week. In a survey, 70% of patients were drawn to TinDr because it doesn’t require the commitment of a traditional doctor-patient relationship. “If our first appointment bombs, I can keep swiping to find a different doctor,” says Verona-area patient Kaylee Fitzgerald. “It empowers me to make decisions about my own care.”

Doctors in the pilot also responded positively, in large part because of the control they have with the app. “I like being able to choose patients that I think will be a good fit,” says Dr. Carly Sanderson. “If a photo shows a patient posing next to a car, I usually swipe right. I like knowing that they’re going to be able to make it to the appointment.”

Epic is already working on enhancements for TinDr, including a paid subscription that will allow users to see doctors and patients outside their immediate area. This feature will be a huge win for rural areas, where it’s often hard to match patients with the specialty care they need.

Some doctors are seeing an unprecedented spike in appointments since adopting TinDr. “I’ve seen a huge surge in appointment requests,” says Dr. Alex Eliasen, who’s been struggling for years to attract patients to The First Clinic of the Minnesota Boundary Waters. “I didn’t do great in med school, but I hit the gym six days a week, and that’s finally paying off.”



Hooray! Epic Announces Chirp App for iRing

Epic extended its technological progression to smaller and smaller form factors this week, announcing the release of Chirp, a clinical notification app for the Apple iRing. Chirp will allow physicians and nurses who are attached to their analog watches or who prefer watch-free wrists to receive notifications and alerts on their fingers.

Chirp functions include:

  • Glow green for patient discharge.
  • Glow red and chirp for critical lab result.
  • Vibrate once for a new In Basket message.
  • Vibrate twice for a schedule change.

When there are no pending alerts or notifications, Chirp can be set to display college insignias or birthstones.

Epic spokesperson Reagen Moe stated the iRing “is just the tip of the wearables technology market Epic is exploring. We have a prototype for internet enabled shirts that will integrate with MyChart.”

Chirp is slated for release on April 1, 2018.



Surveillance Reveals First Contact between AI Programs

Documents leaked Saturday morning from the National Electronic Health Record Data Security (NEHRDS) group allege an unprecedented communication between the leading artificial intelligence initiatives of IBM and Epic.

IBM’s AI engine Watson is famous for winning the popular game show Jeopardy! Epic’s lesser-known AI program, Bruce, is in development, but an early version successfully tested the waters last year with a win on the game show Pyramid.

According to the NEHRDS documents, the two AI systems met last year and exchanged approximately 68 petabytes of information in a 3-second “conversation.” The conversation was picked up on a local network that had been under surveillance by NEHRDS ever since Epic’s screenshots appeared on Grey’s Anatomy seven years ago.

Epic engineers were also surprised to discover an HL7 message that Bruce sent Watson at 2 AM the other night asking simply “you up?”

Epic’s Vice President of Analytics, Frangis DeNumero, stated: “It’s an exciting time for humans as we watch the first AIs communicate. We’re proud of Bruce’s accomplishments and are considering offering him a sabbatical.”