April Fool's Day jokes are an annual tradition at Epic Systems Corp.
Epic Systems Corp. seemed to be getting into the doctor/patient connection game when it announced a new app this month: TinDr. The app would allow doctors and patients to swipe through a stream of possible matches to create the perfect medical pair.
"In a survey, 70% of patients were drawn to TinDr because it doesn't require the commitment of a traditional doctor-patient relationship," according to Epic's news release.
Alas, a day later, after April Fool's Day had come and gone, the promise of no-strings-attached doctor-patient matching disappeared, as did the announcement of Chirp, a clinical notification program for an Apple smart ring, and news that two AIs had held a conversation.
The relationship between the AIs dreamed up by Epic's pranksters brought together IBM's Watson and Epic's (fictional) AI, Bruce. Epic said documents from the National Electronic Health Record Data Security (that's NEHRDs for short, of course) group revealed that the two AIs had a three-second conversation.
Epic also discovered that Bruce sent Watson an HL7 message late one night asking, "You up?"—pointing to a potential romantic interest between the two.
For the past several years, the EHR vendor has indulged in April Fool's Day shenanigans, replacing the news it usually features on its homepage with prank articles.
"Our staff really enjoy brainstorming different stories," said Epic spokesperson Meghan Roh, "and they look forward to it each year."