We sat down with John Rozier, the lead software developer for Epic’s voice assistant, to talk about the vision for the future of hands-free interaction with health records.
What can clinicians do today using Hey Epic?
Hey Epic! gives clinicians a new way to look up information about a patient and document care. When providers are getting ready for a visit, they can use the voice assistant to get up to speed on the patient’s story. They can queue up a prescription, set reminders, and quickly call a colleague.
By swiping up anywhere in the Haiku app on a phone, they can request information like “Who is my next patient?” or “Show me the last lipid panel.” Hey Epic! turns words into actions.
What are you working on next?
We’re working on adding more commands so providers can also place orders for labs, referrals, or imaging. In the future, they’ll be able to say “Hey Epic, order a CBC.” They’ll also be able to pull up more information about a patient’s history, like a list of recent visits, and ask questions like “When was the last colonoscopy done?”
In the next couple of years, we’re also focusing on making the voice assistant available from other platforms, like on Android in Haiku, on a tablet in Canto, and on workstations in Hyperspace.
What’s the long-term vision for voice assistant technology?
We envision a new kind of experience in the exam room, where Epic responds to the clinician’s conversation, differentiates between the clinician and patient, and knows the plan of care.
Hey Epic! will become a conversation partner for clinicians by asking for clarification and helping them pursue a hunch. It’ll also be able to prompt for relevant information when it’s queuing up orders or assessments and drill into the details for past encounters and labs.
In the future, it’ll also gain the capability to generate highly variable unstructured information, like notes. I know a lot of doctors are excited about the potential of being able to have the voice assistant write their notes for them!
Epic community members can learn more about Hey Epic! on the UserWeb.